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This wasn’t intentionally planned but I happen to be reading John Minford’s translation of the Chinese classic, Tao Te Ching, and the Classical education Quadrivium at the same time. They were both a major part of the education system of their respective countries in the year 400 BCE, and each of these cultures has had a major impact on the ancient world and even today’s world.

I am more familiar with the Tao Te Ching because I got deep into that worldview back in the late 1960s and 70s. Because of that previous involvement, I found numerous quibbles with this new rendition, but because of his frequent cross-referencing with other translations it is a pleasure to read. It gives a wider view than any given individual’s interpretation. They all got it wrong of course, but every reader would agree and have to say that. It is a spacious book.

The Quadrivium is almost totally new to me except for the fact that I just finished a Wooden books parallel publication, Designa. I so liked Designa that I immediately got Sciencia and QuadriviumThese are challenging books to read because you don’t really read them, you must study them. They are loaded with information that you sort of know already, but don’t. They are the background of seemingly everything we think and do but we have forgotten their roots. I am presently on a quest to regain my Western roots. From my DNA through 23andme, I discovered that I am 100% North European ancestry, yes, including the 4% Neanderthal, and 1% Finnish(?). And yet, even though I read a lot, I have lost my roots and it’s time to catch up. You might consider it too, but it is a challenge.

Aside from my reading, etc. I worked almost two hours on removing some Oregon Grape plants that have been growing under the eaves of the front of my house. They were full-grown when I moved into this house eight years ago and I got along with them just fine until my neighbors started firing off rockets on the 4th of July. I got worried about a forest fire and started removing flammable materials from around my house two years ago, but after the Paradise, California, fire eight weeks ago I got even more concerned. That city looks a lot like where I live. In a forest. It burned! Bend is in such a similar situation I have been stripping my property down to bare dirt near my house. The flammable yard will be replaced with decorative rock and other nonflammables come this spring.

It was a day of morning conversation with friends, walks with Debbie, being an amateur lumberjack, reading and now blogging.