The Lure of the Writer’s Cabin

Much has been written about the writer’s cabin. Among the most notable recent books on the topic are “Heidegger’s Hut” by Adam Sharr and “A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams,” Michael Pollan’s account of  imagining and then actually constructing his own writing space. A standard Internet search can quickly yield images of the writing rooms (cabins, huts, sheds) of legendary scriveners: Dylan Thomas, Virginia Woolf, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Roald Dahl, Carl Jung, Henry Thoreau and — a writer of a markedly different sort —Ted Kaczynski, to name a few. And Jill Krementz’s 1999 collection of photographs “The Writer’s Desk” gives us tantalizing glimpses of writers sitting at their desks. But why the interest? Have these places somehow become secular sites of the sacred?

A statue of Henry David Thoreau and a replica of his hut are on display at Walden Pond Reservatio

A statue of Henry David Thoreau and a replica of his hut are on display at Walden Pond Reservatio

Who has not fantasized about the books they would write if only the right conditions could be found! I have carried around just such a dream, sparked by a weekend alone in an austere mountain cabin in the Austrian Alps when I was a boy. Rumination was unstoppable, and poetry just poured out. Continue reading

A Global Future for Local Artisans

The recent emergence of a new breed of social entrepreneur, with fortunes gleamed from tech start-ups, has allowed technological know-how and

Decorative dishes sold at an artist collective

global social consciousness to morph into a formidable ally for the global poor. GlobeIN, one of the organizations at the forefront of this movement, is creating a worldwide link between countries, continents, and people – with a mission to make the world more open, more connected, and fair for all of its citizens.

The website offers insight into the artisan‘s life through interviews and video. Clients are able to browse through a list of active participants, and choose goods based on life stories and perceived need, akin to the model employed by KIVA. Once the artisan has been selected, and the product chosen, payment is delivered through Paypal.

For the moment, GlobeIN is working on the short-term economic stability of participating households. As funding increases, and quality of life increases, the program’s scope will be expanded to include a wider range benefits. Continue reading