Distant from the Land

Sometimes I feel alienated from the land.  After being closed up inside, in  the library and in my basement study, I miss the long summer days of mowing and digging ditches that I once knew.

I was thinking about the sacraments the other day.  Where does the water come from that we use to baptise?  Out of a faucet.  Where does the wine/juice come from?  Out of a bottle from the store.  The bread?  Out of a box.  (Ours does, anyway.  It’s matzoh!)  But it hasn’t always been that way.

Once I would have known the water from the river, where I got my drinking water and washed my clothes.  I would have known the feet that crushed the grapes that had made the wine… or they would have been my own.  I might have known the hands or the mule that turned the millstone to crush the  grain for the bread.  So much of the beauty of the sacraments is the making holy of the ordinary.  God has made all of creation good, including the water I wash with.  The goodness of the sacraments is a reminder of the goodness of the mundane.

So I did a funny thing yesterday.  I rode my bike down to the Mississippi, two miles from my house.  I walked down the boat ramp to the water and watched the crane lifting scrap iron onto a barge.  I dipped my fingers in the water, splashed my forehead, and blessed myself.


Treetop Prayer

Lord, where will I meet you?

On bridge of steel

or bridge of stone

or in the water

that binds life to life?

On a blank page

in the autumn air

up in the branches of a tree?

You are more

than everything

and not

any thing

but everywhere

I see


best climbing tree ever

Published in: on September 18, 2007 at 6:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Speaking of Conspiracies….

 Chris Paine has given us one more reason why open-minded Republican-sympathizers (they exist!) should be careful what they watch.

His 2006 documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? only mounts a secondary attack against right-wing politicians.  Big business and big oil are center-stage.  They seem to have screwed over the little guy, yet again.

I feel angry and sad, but mostly angry.  I tried to think of other historical incidents when the very technology we had longed for was within our grasp – we already had it! – and we let it slip away.  I tried, but I couldn’t find anything else this collosally depressing.

We have lost great technologies before, only to later regain them.  But have we ever lost them on purpose?

Kind of reminds me of what Dark Helmet once said: “So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.”

Evil can be pretty dumb, too.  If we were not dependent on foreign oil….

No Majesty without Mystery

We swam through the green, roots and rotting logs our steps into the clouds.  The sunset found us on quartz boulders, Shining Rock in the shadow of Cold Mountain.  No postcard vistas for us, only glimpses through the mist with joy!  There is no majesty without mystery.

Published in: on July 29, 2007 at 8:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

I, Eco-Hypocrite

I might look back on today as the day I became a Democrat.  Or a member of the Green Party.  It’s too close to call just yet.  It is already the Day I Became Less Stupid. 

I do not mean to imply that Republicans are stupid.  Far from it.  But they collectively have a strong track record for being stupid about the environment, just like me.

I have paid lip service to protecting Earth.  I’m the first one to stick up for the environment in conversation with my arch-conservative friends.  I love walking in the sun, under the leaves, feeling the life in trees.  I recycle.  My garden is lush.  But why do I have a garden?

Because I moved out to the country, traded my Starbucks for a Waffle House, and became co-owner of a house.  “A wise investment,” Dad said. 

But my professional life remains in the city and, now that I’m commuting 40 minutes each way three to four days a week, I wonder if it’s worth it.  Translation: I burn 60 gallons of unleaded every month.  I don’t carpool.  I don’t drive a hybrid.  I didn’t think that I could afford to.

Now I don’t know if I can afford not to.  I just finished watching An Inconvenient Truth.  Global warming is happening, and it is my fault.  What am I going to do about it?

I’m going to pray: for myself, for you reading this, especially if you’ve been like me, and for Al Gore, that people would listen.  This is bigger that politics.  This is about moral responsibility and justice for future generations.

I’m going to start car shopping, which will involve some creative financial manuoevering.  The big purchase might be years out, but I can hasten the day.

I’m going to educate myself about the candidates in the next election.  I’m going to pray for the candidates.

And I’m going to ask God for forgiveness.  This is our planet, but He gave it to us to take care of.  We can squander it, like I’ve been doing, or we can be good stewards.  What could be a better investment than that?