Wise People and Cobblers

In my journal I wrote:

Understanding comes and goes as huge, crashing waves. One recedes and the other comes. It’s hard to catch your breath.

I had just finished reading Stephen Jenkinson’s latest post, “There’s Grief in Coming Home,” when I looked up and I must have had an expression on my face for Amie asked: “What is it, Mama?”

I said: “I just read something by a man with great wisdom, a wise man. You can learn a lot from wise people.”

Amie asked: “Do we know any wise people?”

The question took me unawares. I had to think for a moment.

“We may know wise people, but we don’t know. There used to be a time when people asked for and shared wisdom freely. Now, we wouldn’t know if we were talking to a wise person.”

Amie said: “Just like there are no cobblers any more.”

This went back to her request yesterday morning that I take her to a cobbler so she could learn how to make shoes (she’s reading Little House). I explained there aren’t many cobblers now. She thought this preposterous.

“Who makes our shoes then?”

“Why, machines.”

That didn’t seem so self-evident to her, at all.

“Why?” (as in Why on earth!?)

And we talked, about machines making more, faster, cheaper. About how they do mostly everything, makes shoes, harvest crops.

This had not occurred to her. This didn’t seem right to her.

Why does it seem right to (most of) us?

Through the eyes of your child you look into the dark heart of your culture and your heart skips a beat because the dark heart is your heart, questioning itself, grieving.

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  1. If you come to Amherst, we’ve got us a cobbler! He mostly repairs shoes and other leather goods, but he CAN make a shoe from start to finish :) I’d be delighted to host you and Amie and show you around.

  2. Thank you, Michelle, we will take you up on that!
    Thank you, Andrea, Amie watched the video and was very impressed. She also noticed that a lot of elderly people work at that workplace. She has those wise people in mind!

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