T H E P R E L U D E a t T H O R E A U C O L L E G E July & August, 2016
Learning, work, and play unfold in harmony, and for the first time in a great while I can safely say that 'Yes, I am seeing, and feeling, and hearing, and breathing in the fullness of the real, the living world.’ Perin Ellsworth-Heller
Designed as a first experiment towards the forming of Thoreau College, the Prelude was a three week intensive course exploring humans relationship with the natural world and inner self. Set partially at the Driftless Folk School campus in cabins on a farm, the prelude offered a wide variety of workshops and experiences, from herbalism and daily singing to personal biographical study. The first week of the prelude was completely outdoors and isolated from any technology. Keith Hess, west coast herbalist and therapeutic eurythmist, led an interactive course in the mornings about plants and their relationship with humans. The afternoons were spent in philosophical discussion of Rudolf Steiner's book A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception. In between there were delicious locally sourced meals, singing, and physical labor building trails. The second week moved indoors, where participants learned from their own biographies, and the biographies of Thoreau and Steiner, which was balanced by movement workshops. The last week focused on the history of local peoples, discussions about inner and outer capacities for social change, and looked ahead towards the emerging vision of Thoreau College.