Woodfest again at St. Asaph, don’t miss it! Or try to remember next year… There seem to be a number of different types of people exhibiting or competing. Most working in their field and making a living the way most of us do, wood things being a profitable sideline. There are the commercial firms whose machined products look out of place next to the hand crafted ones. There are also the minority of excellent craftsmen and women making their living solely from their craft, these are the ones one admires the most. Often the craft comes first, financial gain second. They do it for the love of the creating and the pleasure of the wood. I have to say that of all the very good and worthy people showing their skills there is none like the mushroom man, earning a living by turning wooden mushrooms out of Hazel. I imagine one day, he like others, was turning and demonstrating. Made a wooden mushroom and sold it there and then. Then he did another and chatted to those he was making them for as his chisles effortlessly cut away the wood. Where others put up safety screen and sat behind desks, he was stood up outside, nothing to stop the endless waves of wood chippings covering those watching. A few children at the front started to dance in the wood confetti tossing it over their heads in some mock wedding ritual, child meets wood, perhaps touching it for the first time in it’s raw state, ‘feel the wood’ he says ‘it’s wet, isn’t it?’ the youngsters learn this is green wood, straight from the tree, the best for turning, soft and supple it bends to the will of the blade. As the mushroom is finished, complete with ring, furry bits and cone topping, the crowd shifts slightly, those going away clutching a newly carved work of love. For the love of it, and with good humour, is the better path. There are few who can tread the narrow road, but theirs is the path to be travelled!
Rumi said, in the midst of conflict:
“I go into the Muslim mosque, and the Jewish synagogue and the Christian church and I see one altar.”
How open, or how big must one’s heart be to allow such a thought? Can such a radical notion of generosity of heart ever take root today? Perhaps not until we give up utterly what it is that we desire most will we come closer to that which is for the most part lost to us and beyond our reach for there is too much in the way.
Such is the heart of St. Dwynwen who gave up everything for the sake of others love.
… to get rid of the snow, and that it to build a sled for the children. When I have finished it, (June or July sometime) the snow will be gone! Whilst deciding whether or not to clear the drive and risk the car this morning – (nah, walk!) I was browsing a few books that need finishing. See my not quite a new year resolution. At the back of Rowan Williams’ Silence and Honey cakes there is an interesting question and answer section. In one he expands a little on Vladimir Lossky’s idea of individual and person.
“For every person there is one way in which they can show God, and only they can do it like that.”
I like this attitude very much. It is respectful of personal distinctiveness. It allows for a diversity seldom approached in the church. If reflects the sermon I chickened out of a week or so ago on John 1:10-18. It was mainly on verse 17 and the meaning of the words from which are derived the phrase ‘Grace and Truth’ mainly in the Hebrew word Chesed. The part at which I stopped short would have said that we have created anew the law and are living in subservience to that, rather than in witness to the ‘Grace and Truth’. If you take this to its (I’ll have to say ‘perhaps’ here because I’m part of the problem) logical conclusion the structures and organisation or business based Church (basically control) which we run is putting into a small box something that was never intended to be contained and until we let go of control and allow people to be ruled by the heart we will always be smothering something beautiful. To be continued, after another book I’ve not yet finished – A Celtic Model of Ministry.