Tell Your Story - How discovering the Hestian approach changes your thinking

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Jessie

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Sep 27, 2013, 5:26:16 PM9/27/13
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We all have stories, often memorable, of a small series of connections bringing about a change in our lives, and why our lives were ripe for it to happen, usually.   To contribute your story first click in the box just below to respond to the lead topic, and to give your response It's Own Title you then click on "Edit Subject" just above the text editing box, that comes up for writing the narrative you have in mind.    

That stories are most generally "like that", starting small with the continuity of changes reflected in the narrative, leading from beginning to end of the development of bigger changes, is itself a "model" of the natural system process of transformation, for some time and place and the nature of the local environment.

Jessie

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Sep 27, 2013, 5:25:51 PM9/27/13
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I met Pat and made friends with her and a good friend of hers, just casually at an afternoon concert.   It was in the common space of a neighborhood co-op, and we really hit it off, but only chatting about this and that socially.   A couple months later I had this idea of forming a reading/discussion group, for non-fiction, an thought of her and her friend Linda.   
 
Linda was very responsive to the idea and after a few conversations I began to realize I'd uncovered a true gold mine, in Pat's remarkable 20 years of writing about this marvelous insight of hers.   Mankind was on a temporary detour away from it's origins in family centered culture, toying with a grandly unsustainable patriarchal culture of abstract rules and impossible expectations, and the great treat of her talent for tracing how that happened!!    
 
It was only a couple months later, after some very pleasant hours of wide ranging talk, that I started to "get the picture" of how *very closely* my and her *very different* languages for the "home systems of nature" could be connected.

Jessie

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Sep 27, 2013, 5:18:19 PM9/27/13
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Part of "The Story" is how the feminist world failed to catch on to Pat Thompson's uniquely insightful new feminist view....   Here's a letter I sent to the Managing Editor of MS magazine, offering a nice smooth way of saying "we really missed it!"

Senior Editor Michele Kort, Michele,

We really missed it!    Pat Thompson was a 1948 Barnard grad who “got the message”, and followed it with a varied career leading to exploring a truly fresh conception of the political science and economics of feminism.   As a distinguished professor at Lehman college at the age 79 she published her “Hestian Trilogy”, beautifully laying out her radical reinvention of the concept of “home economics”.    It got as close to zero attention as one can get, it seems for the usual reason, asking unexpected questions.    What one finds hidden away in those books is an  “accidental theorist” going ALL the way to the roots of things, to discover the original roles of women in anchoring our families, as guardians of the flame of hearth and home, found documented in the home centered cultures of early Greece.   

Thompson writes beautifully too, but it seems everyone was thrown off by her asking unexpected questions, and yes, also by the pejoratives associating “home economics”, so often treated as a concern with “menial chores done by obedient women”.    Yes, that is how the dominant authoritarian cultures interpret the worth of nearly everything…    The labor of the home, though, as it works in the home, comes along with the role of being principle caretaker for the living culture of the home, is the center of our lives, found only in the place where we bring the spoils of the marketplace to give as gifts and share freely, fulfilling our main purpose in putting up with the increasing indignities of the daily struggle outside the home.   

For humans, “home making” is not of low value because it is given away, but of high value because it is given away, in celebration of things we value more highly than money.    It’s the active caring for our homes centering our lives, loves, ways of learning and traditions.   Home is where we both celebrate and transmit our ancient family customs, knowledge and rituals, providing the “work place” and “fair commons” where the living cultures of our personal and extended families find security and thrive.   It’s that “home making” that serves as the true essential source and foundation of all human culture, the continuity of the light within us today passed on without a break from our ancient past, not valueless because it’s free, but truly priceless.   

Pat shows that’s also how it was 3000 years ago, and …  offers a fascinating tale of how “something got lost in the translation” as the meanings of our words were altered again and again over time, by ever more dominant cultures of rules and commerce, having no place in their abstractions for recognizing the organic relationships of “everyday life”.  

I hope I show you the right lens to for reassessing her work.   Please have another look.

Jessie

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