Yesterday evening Robin and I got to talk to Nao about her comfort station while she ate her dinner and wore a Star Wars fleece hat. We spoke with her about her new innovations for the personalized comfort hearts we will be creating for the comfort station.
Jane’s entry about the chef doll/Roman lares in the kitchen reminds me of the kind of paganism (or more appropriately, animism) that used to characterize many cultures of the world. This is admittedly a half-formed thought, but maybe some aspect of freedom and independence was lost not only with the spread of certain monotheistic traditions, but also in their progeny; the secular scientific culture that evolved in the wake of religion, but that still held on to a sense that things must either be wrong or right. What about those times long ago, when every household, village, occupation, etc. had its own set of deities? It speaks to a sanctioning of not just religious freedom, but more importantly, belief freedom. Who was to say that your neighbor Bob was wrong in worshipping Cardea, the goddess of door handles? In fact, nobody probably cared to ask which gods anyone worshipped; it was a matter where variety was the rule, idiosyncrasy was allowed, and heated argument probably absent. Anyway, this is just me idealizing about pagan times, and wondering why people can’t chill out a bit when it comes to controversy and idiosyncratic beliefs. The ubiquitous spirit houses of Thailand that one finds outside of every home, office building, and roadside rest-stop gave me an idea for an art display where people made “belief totems” for display outside their homes, giving a fun material depiction of something they believe in, like “Love,” or “Steak.”