Tuesday, May 8, 2007

What's a crunchy Con Mommy, you ask?

Some years ago I read an article in the Weekly Standard by Rod Dreher called "Crunchy Cons" which he recently turned into a book of the same title (with the outstanding subtitle : How Birkenstocked Burkeans, gun-loving organic gardeners, evangelical free-range farmers, hip homeschooling mamas, right-wing nature lovers, and their diverse tribe of countercultural conservatives plan to save America, or at least the Republican party) . It's not a perfect book, by any means, but it has a lot to say that I think is true.

A portion of the crunchy con "manifesto" from the book jacket explains the general premise better than I could:

*Culture is more important than politics and economics
*A conservatism that does not practice restraint, humility and good stewardship -- especially of the natural world -- is not fundamentally conservative
*Small, local, old and particular are almost always better than big, global, new and abstract
*Beauty is more important than efficiency
*The relentlessness of media-driven pop culture deadens our senses to authentic truth, beauty, and wisdom
*We share Russell Kirk's conviction that "the institution most essential to conserve is the family".

Really, in my life, this manifesto is more aspirational than practiced, which bothers me. When I read this book, I recognized a lot that was true about the way I want to live my life. Of course, at the moment I'm an American Idol watching, box store shopping suburbanite who has to drive to go anywhere and isn't spending nearly the time with things of the spirit (scriptures, prayer, quiet time that is not filled with the noise of the world) as I want to.

There are some things about this that I currently can't change, and that's okay. Right now, I don't live in a neighborhood that is conducive to the lifestyle I envision of "small, local, old and particular". But we have a plan to do so in the future when we find our perfect house in the old neighborhood I really love. That might be tomorrow, or five years from now, or fifteen. In the meantime, we have a great house with lots of space and land, and we are happy here. And my physical location in the world has nothing to do with most of the other choices I make. I'm trying to be a better steward of my resources, natural and personal, to make more thoughtful choices. I really like the notion of living with intention, and trying to make the mundane sacred by being thoughtful and prayerful about the choices I make. And if I can't do that in this life of my choosing, doing a job that I think is the most important and sacred there is (though certainly with it's very mundane moments), then I'm just being a tourist in this life, and that's not okay. Simplify, focus on first things, live with intention. That's part of what having this blog is about for me, too.

So I got a little off track there (and a little more introspective than I intended)! Though Dreher does write about living with intention and how that relates to true conservatism. Anyway, it's a great book, and one I highly recommend, and that's why I've decided that on this blog, I'm going to be the Crunchy Con Mommy.

Before I go for tonight, and get myself to bed, I have to include some obligatory knitting content! The other day I posted my joy at finding another ball of yarn for Big Guy's Weasley sweater. Sadly, the project has been derailed by my realization that when I had him try it on the other day, he couldn't wait to get it off because it was too itchy. Hmmm. Probably shouldn't put any more work into a garment that he's not going to want to wear. So that's on hold for now, either to be remade in a softer yarn or... something. Don't know what yet.

In the meantime, I decided to start a Mason Dixon log cabin blanket, which I've been wanting to do for awhile. Big Guy and Miss G are always fighting over the "stripey blankets" my Nana made, so I decided to make each of them their very own, distinct and unique, blankets. I'm working on Big Guy's first. It's going pretty well, I think!

Speaking of which, I'm going to go knit a few more rows and then go to sleep, because once again I'm up too late! Big Guy will be home sick tomorrow (a mild case of strep that is keeping him home till he has the requisite amount of antibiotics in his system) so I need to be on the top of my game to keep Big Guy and Little Miss from killing each other (and me from wanting to sell both of them to gypsies)!


JustRandi said...

I love the manifesto! And you're right, we live in such a paradox sometimes. I'm looking forward to getting to know you better! Ahhh, better life through blogging....

Stacey said...

Beth-Thanks for letting us know about your blog. Love it!