HOME by John Ruskin 1819-1900 (exceprts)
(Ruskin was the foremost English art critic,writer, poet, watercolourist of the time.)
"Summer is delicious" he wrote. Aye. That it is. This week I've been reading some of his work. His own home of Brantwood, Cumbria , is a place of peace, and as I learned, open to the public......very cool.
This is the true nature of home, it is the place of Peace; the shelter, not only from all injury, but from all terror, doubt and division.If a hostile society of the outer world is allowed to cross the threshold......
It ceases to be home.
It is then only a part of that outer world
which you have roofed over, and lighted fire in.
But so far as it is a sacred place, a vestal temple....
a temple of the hearth watched over .......
Before whose faces none may come but those whom they can receive with love.......
Roof and fire are types only of a nobler shade and light.
Shade as of the rock in a weary land.
Light as of the lighthouse in a stormy sea.
So far, it vindicates the name, and fulfills the praise of Home
This home is always around her (wife)...
The stars only may be over her head.
The glow worm in the night-cold grass may be the only fire at her feet.
But home is wherever she is.
For a noble woman it stretches far round her.
Better than ceiled with cedar,
Or painted with vermilion,
Shedding its quiet light far.
For those whose else were homeless...... (excerpts from "Home" by John Ruskin, found in the book 1000 Beautiful Things, 1948)
John Ruskin's ambitious parents always thought their son would take Holy Orders and become the Archbishop of Canterbury.Well, that never happened.In 1839 he won the Newgate Prize at Oxford, for Poetry. This is were he met the great William Wordsworth.
Ruskin was considered a fine water colour artist, as well as a writer, and he also was a philanthropist, donating art work in England and later on in the states. He also designed stained glass windows, and other architectural features.He was an artsy.
Ruskin was also a lecturer, educator, traveller, was mentally devastated ,in the latter part of his life, after losing the love of his life. She wouldn't marry him. In fact, there were a few future Mrs. Ruskins that never could make up their minds. I think there was one actual wife, at one point, but the marriage dissolved.In time he settled at Brantford, where he lived out his life.
Beatrix Potter was said to have met him, and thought he was comical looking with his old clothes and long beard. But, Tolstoy called him remarkable.Brilliant. Belonging to the world.
"Let every dawn be to you as the beginning of life....." (John Ruskin)
Photographs: Michelle McConachie Woods