I’m in downtown, historic Missoula, writing these words.
I’m here for a week, working on my second book. It’ll be about everyday mindfulness—gleaned from (whew) 16 years of writing for Elephant, to you.
Half of old town Missoula is beautiful, old, quality craftsmanship. Half of it has been torn down over the years. I just wrote about the importance of the past to this present moment (you can read that, here). Historic preservation is vital to our communities—buildings built not to code but to their surroundings, when the notion of the Commonwealth was more important than catering to the 1%.
It’s funny: directly across from me is the huge beautiful noble old courthouse. It’s stunning, grand, elegant—and then, in the back, is a tasteless, cheap, nearly windowless addition. That’s what’s happened to architecture over the past century—it’s become cheap, about neither function or form, really.
Of course, beautiful modern architecture is wonderful, too. The difference isn’t old or new: it’s mindfulness. How much love and care did the architect and builders put into the space?
The Commonwealth is one of my favorite words in the English language. It’s about the notion that all of us are important, and valued. You can see it reflected in grand public buildings, parks, or stadiums. You can see it missing in ugly, forgotten public buildings.
Creating enlightened society is our mission—let’s be kind to animals, to one another, and stop soapboxing on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Let’s reinvest in the Commonwealth—inequality isn’t good for anyone, even the 1%.
PS: Last night I was at a benefit at Luvin Farm, an animal sanctuary, hosted by Mercy for Animals, with my (new) friends Kate (Plastic-free Mermaid) and Emma (of Last Straw fame). Looking for a fun outing? Visit an animal sanctuary near you—it’s fun stuff.