I recently picked up a book by a prominent and highly respected literature professor at the library depicting the ways in which he taught literature and short stories to his students. I did not get very far.
His pedagogy was all hooked on a feeling; a hustling of words together to get you, the reader, to insert your own responses and dictate the personalized value of the story. Original authorial intent mattered only if it affirmed what you had already discovered. If you catch a salmon, are you allowed to determine it is rather a bass?
And here we are, a community of adults ranging from Baby Boomers to Gen Z, with little idea as to how to pick up a book and read it rightly, yet dumpsters full of ways to approach reading wrongly. Stacked on that, we have children living in the midst of humanity returning to one degree or another of classical education, attempting to embody that which we haven’t received ourselves. How do we even know the difference between a trout and a bass?
The Loom was founded with not only this in mind, but with recognizing that whether or not you are in classical education as a parent or an educator, learning founded in truth, beauty, and goodness is of inherent value to every person. How often are we pursuing learning as adults in the midst of those who are not fully likeminded? How often do we take the time to pursue the true, good, and beautiful with our local community at large? Or at all? These are true and better questions.
Together, let us take the time to grow our humanity through reading and conversing, adult classes covering a spanse of beauty worth pursuing, and special events to gather and bask in music, words, and more.
Our first book will be On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books by Karen Swallow Prior. As she succinctly states in the Introduction, “It is not enough to read widely. One must also read well.”
May we together learn how to fish for salmon and catch salmon. May we remember that salmon don’t live in ponds, but swim against the rage of the rivers. Join us as we gather in the waters of life, taking the time to grow in our humanity. To feast on books and conversation and the cultivation of the true, good, and beautiful as we study a multitude of disciplines. May we determine it is worth standing alongside one another knee-deep in the eddies and waiting for the Right to leap out of the water.