Monday, January 14, 2013

The Loom and Freethinkers

I got to spend some time yesterday in the lovely little hill country town of Comfort, TX.  Just northwest of San Antonio and just off Ih 10, this small community was formed by Freethinkers back in the mid eighteen hundreds.  I found this information about them online.

"Freethinkers" Of the Early Texas Hill Country

By Edwin E. Scharf

Between the years 1845 and 1860, a large contingent of German Freethinkers immigrated to the Texas Hill Country. Unlike the thousands of Adelsverein-sponsored German farmers immigrating to the United States and Texas to escape overpopulation and economic problems, the Freethinkers, being ardent advocates of democracy and freedom from religion, were fleeing primarily from political and religious tyranny. They came to the United States seeking freedom from dictatorial monarchies and clerics.

The Freethinkers refused to accept political absolutism and the authority of a church, religion, or its supposedly inspired scripture. They insisted on the freedom to form religious opinions on the basis of intellectual reasoning powers and not on blind, unquestioned faith. Freethinking became fashionable in the German state of Prussia during the reign of Frederick the Great, who ruled from 1740-53, within a period known as the "Age of Reason."

The town now is a lovely mixture of art and culture.  Lovely cafes and restaurants and eclectic shops full of antiques and Texas hill country flair. Where handmade and unique are appreciated and the artist is celebrated. 

A lovely little stone house or maybe a shop on High Street with an apartment above would be a lovely way to spend my days.  I'd have a tin ceiling and lovely old wood floors.  The front door would be a little narrow like they always are and it would open into the store instead of opening out. (I never seem to remember that, no matter howmany of those doors I open) I'd have lots of old wood furniture with the edges worn to rounded silk from years of use.  There would be a shop cat that would be sublimely oblivious of all her admirers.  And all the time in the world to make photographs and knit and create and drink tea with friends and ..... Comfort, you are well named.