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As the roundness of early granaries and enclosures reminds us, the town was originally conceived of as female. A place of conviviality and of plenty, its inhabitants were nourished in body and soul, with food for the stomach, warmth and beauty for the senses, and conversation to stimulate the mind. It was also a place of safety that kept the hazards of the wild at bay. But what of our towns now – bereft of human warmth, filled with lonely lives, and more dangerous than the jungle?


Jacques Dufresne
We amputate part of our humanity, we lose our integrity when we are dispossessed – in favour of “experts” – of powers as essential as the ability to console another human being. The result is that our sense of belonging is diminished, because it is to the extent that we feel in possession of our abilities that we are able to forge rich and varied ties with one another.
October 1980. I had been in Braerannoch, the L'Arche community in Inverness, for about a month. It was a Saturday, and for the first time, the house leader had asked me to go down town with Cathol for a haircut. We didn’t know each other much at that point, Cathol and I. That would come later. So that Saturday, understandably, I was a bit nervous. The questioning looks we attracted on the...

A feast day in Florence

«Life flourishes in this dilation of the senses: without it, the beat of the pulse is slower, the tone of the muscles is lower, the posture lacks confidence, the finer discriminations of eye and touch are lacking, perhaps the will-to-live itself is defeated. To starve the eye, the ear, the skin, is just as much to court death as to withhold food from the stomach.[...] Verbal mastery cannot make up for sensory malnutrition.»
Lewis Mumford, The culture of cities





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Jacques Dufresne's

The editor of L'Encyclopédie de L'Agora and well known newspaper chronicler and philosopher, analyses actuality through the looking glass of Belonging.
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