Apartment Therapy on How Our Homes Shape Us

Apartment Therapy on How Our Homes Shape Us

Maxwell Ryan
Dec 10, 2004

Home is your second skin. Dwarves live under the ground, Elves in trees, and men and women live on the earth. Each tribe has a different character, a different outlook on life, and different homes to match.

A reader sent us an email this week and quoted Winston Churchill: "We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us."

So True.

When we used to teach elementary school, we remember the story of the Innkeeper whose inn was full, but he opened his doors anyway.

One night, he heard a knock on the door. A cold and tired family stood on his step. It was a dark, snowy night, and there were wolves in the woods.

"Yes," he said, "I have room for you."

Then another knock came on his door. More people asking if he had any room.

"Yes," he said, "I have room for you."

Many people knocked on his door that night, and the Innkeeper let them all in. Somehow, there was always more room.

"Yes," he would say, "I have room for you."

In the end we realized that there was no logic to this, no counting of beds. The Innkeeper's home was as big as his heart; there was infinite room. His was a home that also was himself. It could grow as big as he could.

These are thoughts worth sharing during this month of mystery.

This from Winston Churchill:

"On the night of May 10, 1941, with one of the last bombs of the last serious raid, our House of Commons was destroyed by the violence of the enemy, and we have now to consider whether we should build it up again,and how, and when.

We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.

Having dwelt and served for more than forty years in the late Chamber, and having derived very great pleasure and advantage therefrom, I, naturally, should like to see it restored in all essentials to its old form, convenience and dignity."

-WSC, 28 October 1943 to the House of Commons (meeting in the House of Lords).

(Thanks, Jonathan!) MGR

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