My Mother told me a story about the origin of Colleges in England. She says that they started out in pubs, as gatherings of folks, colleagues, coming together on specific nights to talk about their favorite subjects. Over time, they organized themselves more and more, until they ‘graduated’ into institutions. Universities conversely stem from monasteries and the church, from an intact and fixed conception of cosmology, ready to deliver the truth to its adherents.
But Colleges…they started out as neighbors talking to each other about what mattered.
Apocryphal? I don’t really care one way or the other, because the story teaches me something real about what matters. Talking to each other in the evenings will rescue us far more surely than all the Ph.D.’s in the world. We have work to do, as colleagues, neighbors, and families. Let’s get to it. In parks and public right-of-ways, in abandoned lots and condemned ruins, in living rooms and pubs, let’s get together on the Land that waits for us to return our hearts to her, and start talking.