Dear Sallie at Two Talent Living has been an on-line mentor for me in many ways…from her first post that I read, Practicality and the Death of Beauty, I knew that I had found a true kindred spirit.

Right now she’s running the loveliest contest over on her site, the ‘2005 Blogs of Beauty’ awards.  I think that it’s such an inspired idea, and a marvelous way of encouraging all of those ‘lady bloggers’ out there who take so much time to create a bright spot of beauty and edification on the web.  And it’s also a great introduction to other Christian women we might not have ‘met’ otherwise.  Nominations have already been accepted, and voting on the finalists closes Tuesday, December 6th at 8:00 PM, so go on over and take a look at all of the different categories…I hear that many of them are still ‘neck and neck’!  (And thank you to whoever nominated me. :))

In the same vein, my sister-in-law and I were talking yesterday about the great potential of the internet era to give women a voice and to connect them on a heart level, perhaps in a way that hasn’t been seen since the days of horse-drawn carriages and community barn-raisings.  She said that her husband has observed that the automobile has very likely contributed more than anything else to the break-down of strong female networks of compassionate instruction/experience and daily interaction, particularly for the woman at home.  I think he’s right–and the revered poet T.S. Eliot apparently did too, as this passage from his sublime Choruses from ‘The Rock’ attests:

What life have you of you have not life together?
There is no life that is not in community,
And no community not lived in praise of GOD.
Even the anchorite who meditates alone,
For whom the days and nights repeat the praise of GOD,
Prays for the Church, the Body of Christ incarnate.
And now you live dispersed on ribbons roads,
And no man knows or cares who is his neighbor
Unless his neighbor makes too much disturbance,
But all dash to and fro in motor cars,
Familiar with the roads and settled nowhere.
Nor does the family even move about together,
But every son would have his motorcycle,
And daughters ride away on casual pillions.

In closing I am reminded of one more stirring passage from Howards End:

This craze for motion has only set in during the last hundred years.  It may be followed by a civilzation that won’t be a movement because it will rest on the earth.  All the signs are against it now, but I can’t help hoping, and very early in the morning in the garden I feel that our house is the future as well as the past…