All posts filed under: The Symbolic Home

The Sullivan Home and the Moral Imagination

We’re delighted to share with you a new addition to our Meaningful Home Series — a reflection and blessing for a house from our poet friend Helena Nellie Sullivan. Nellie is a former English and poetry teacher who lives in Carson City, Michigan with her husband and two children (they actually live in a funeral home, where her husband works). She begins by interacting with this quote from G.K. Chesterton, the inspiration for this series: “It is the main earthly business of a human being to make his home, and the immediate surroundings of his home, as symbolic and significant to his own imagination as he can.” I depart from Chesterton on this slightly, in that I do not believe that our own imagination should guide so much as a moral imagination *—an imagination beholden to creeds. To keep a home, then, that fosters moral imagination means that the homemaker will uphold certain “enduring standards”** (as Russell Kirk puts it) in a variety of ways. For us, this means that we hang richly symbolic pictures …

A Window Into Meghan’s Home

This post is part of our series on making meaningful homes, following G.K. Chesterton’s advice: “It is the main earthly business of a human being to make his home, and the immediate surroundings of his home, as symbolic and significant to his own imagination as he can.”  If you’d like to contribute, email thehomelyhours@gmail.com with your guest post! Thanks to Meghan Tarsitano for her contribution and be on the lookout for more “windows into meaningful homes” as we continue this series.  Isn’t it marvelous when things material and temporal point toward truths eternal and unchanging?  Even in small ways, it is better than it simply being a “thing.”  A chair has a purpose; a table has a purpose;  decorative items are best when they have a purpose too.  Certainly, beauty is a purpose in this context, and beauty itself can point toward our Creator.  This is partly why in addition to our more explicitly religious decorations, we frequently have fresh flowers.  God designed those flowers; He called them good; He delighted in his creation, and He wants …

A Window into Amy’s Home

This post is part of our new series on making meaningful homes, following G.K. Chesterton’s advice: “It is the main earthly business of a human being to make his home, and the immediate surroundings of his home, as symbolic and significant to his own imagination as he can.”  If you’d like to contribute, email thehomelyhours@gmail.com with your guest post! Thanks to Amy Rogers Hays for her contribution and be on the lookout for more “windows into meaningful homes” as we continue this series.  Above our kitchen table on a 45 inch Mosslanda Ikea picture ledge sits our version of a little oratory. We have very small children (3 and 11 months) and a very small house (728 sq. ft). Our kitchen table, a handmade counter height butcher block table, is both kitchen prep space and our only eating space in our 9 x 12 kitchen. We have icons scattered across the house, in a cube in our 25 square Ikea Kallax bookcase in our living room, in bedrooms, and above desks in the basement. But …