I have been reading letters written by my father describing the summer ritual called 'haying'. Even after he left home as a young man, like a bird driven by instinct at the changes in the light, he would make the return to his home, the farm where he was born to cut, gather and bind the hay that would feed the cows over the long cold Northern Michigan winters.
My father was an artist, a poet, a writer, a musician, a composer; but he was also a worker in the field: tilling. Planting, harvesting. I don't think he would have drawn any distinction in what he did in the field, the studio. The concert hall or whatever flat surface passed for a writing desk.
Every human action is incarnational. Every human action can be holy...or not.
Everything that proceeds from our body, mind and spirit makes us holy...or not.
We need to heed the words of Christ about what proceeds from each of us is the is what makes us holy...not the place we park our bodies on Sunday mornings, not who we allow to sit next to us-and who we don't.
And at the risk of being accused of blasphemy, it's not even what or Whom we consume.
I happen to think Christ was very clear that its not what goes in or what deprive others of consuming that makes us holy.
And can we also drop the 'pretentious' and obfuscating words 'by their fruits you shall know them'?
Plain speaking it's whatever you DO or SAY.
People speak of 'fruits' as something that might be a banana or an apple or a poisonous berry...gotta watch it develop and maybe need some high-faulting botanist to actually classify it.
It's not that complicated.
Christ's words rarely are.
I think it's kind of humorous that people claim he spoke in parables to make his lessons and teachings clear; I think he told those for people who didn't want the simple answer, the simple word.
It was usually the thick headed or equivocators that had to be hit over the head with a bigger blunt instrument that got a parable.
'Who is my neighbor?'
Really? That from a man well educated in the Law, the Torah?
Bet he had today's equivalent of a gay person or another person he thought NIMBY and had justified a loophole to himself, but would never admit to it.
Twilight: After Haying
Yes, long shadows go out
from the bales; and yes, the soul
must part from the body:
what else could it do?
The men sprawl near the baler,
too tired to leave the field.
They talk and smoke,
and the tips of their cigarettes
blaze like small roses
in the night air. (It arrived
and settled among them
before they were aware.)
The moon comes
to count the bales,
and the dispossessed--
--sings from the dusty stubble.
These things happen. . .the soul's bliss
and suffering are bound together
like the grasses. . .
The last, sweet exhalations
of timothy and vetch
go out with the song of the bird;
the ravaged field
grows wet with dew.
- Jane Kenyon
Photo: Original by me, AnnikaIsabella
From "Slouching toward Kalamazoo" Series.
All Rights Reserved.