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Old 22nd November 2005   #3
Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 1,784
Default ''Home is yet wherever she is''

The new home page of the C.J.Banks site features an image of Barbara that is so gorgeous, that its effect can scarcely be described in words. We have seen Mrs. Brickner sporting dozens of different looks, but this may be the most enchanting hairstyle she has ever exhibited. The way in which her curls cascade softly over her shoulders is almost hypnotic. Add to that the warm, cozy ambience, and the feeling of hearth and home that the setting conjures, and the image soothes even the most aggrieved heart.

This image, and the cover page as a whole, puts one in mind of a passage from John Ruskin's famous essay, "Of Queens' Gardens," in his book titled Sesame and Lilies (1865). Ruskin's essay presents an ideal, Romantic vision of the union between a man and a woman, and describes how they can create for themselves a place apart, a refuge from the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Ruskin writes,

This is the true nature of home--it is the place of Peace; the shelter, not only from all injury, but from all terror, doubt, and division. In so far as it is not this, it is not home; so far as the anxieties of the outer life penetrate into it, and the inconsistently-minded, unknown, unloved, or hostile society of the outer world is allowed by either husband or wife to cross the threshold, it ceases to be home; it is then only a part of that outer world which you have roofed over, and lighted fire in. But so far as it is a sacred place, a vestal temple, a temple of the hearth watched over by Household Gods, before whose faces none may come but those whom they can receive with love,--so far as it is this, and roof and fire are types only of a nobler shade and light,--shade as of the rock in a weary land, and light as of the Pharos in the stormy sea;--so far it vindicates the name, and fulfils the praise, of Home.

And wherever a true wife comes, this home is always round her. The stars only may be over her head; the glowworm in the night-cold grass may be the only fire at her foot; but home is yet wherever she is; and for a noble woman it stretches far round her, better than ceiled with cedar, or painted with vermilion, shedding its quiet light far, for those who else were homeless.

Barbara's beauty makes one believe that such an ideal is genuinely possible--even in the modern world.

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