Etchings in the Sand…

Thoughts and Photos from the Desert…

Category Archives: wabi-sabi

Bean Snuggies…

Now, I’ve had quite a response to my recent post on my L.L. Bean slippers. (By “quite a response” I mean 3 notes and a long distance phone call from Kentucky – which for me is a record breaker.)

Anyway, more needs to be said. Wearing a pair of L.L. Bean slippers for 20 or so years and unashamedly wearing them “in public” is no disgrace. A badge of honor, I should think. Granted, they come to smell a bit and there are marks of distinguished aging, such as scuffs from rocks, stains from spilled liquids of different sorts and even a few neat little holes that developed when certain enthusiastic puppies were cutting their teeth across the years. Good memories!

These are things that can be easily dealt with if one’s spouse becomes unduly critical. A trip through the washer and dryer leaves them compromised, but now with marks of the aging process, proudly shared with all who would see. A few small strips of duct tape don’t do much for their appearance, but do cover up some of the rips, so offensive to some. I’ve noticed that during a rainstorm they keep your feet snug and dry. Mr Bean would be pleased.

At any rate, I want to assure those who do not understand the Bean mystique that they need to look closer at these noble objects that bring back so many wonderful memories. And to Sue Ann in Kentucky, I must say that Santa will NOT bring me 20 pairs of new slippers this Christmas. I don’t have that many readers…

Slippers, by L.L. Bean…

I enjoy Bean’s slippers as they grow old along with me. Jo Ann has never approved of my wearing them in public, but I take wicked pride in ownership and the Wabi Sabi qualities of great objects grown old.

It's all about the glories of aging gracefully...

Crucifix…An Art Piece.

One of my treasures. It all just came together.

Beans and Cornbread…

When I graduated from seminary, I was appointed founding pastor of a new church in northeast Oklahoma City. There were lots of people around, but no church. Six years later, when I moved to another church in New Mexico, it was a nice church that we left behind. St. Andrews United Methodist Church. It had been a wonderful time.

One of the strange things that emerged from our life together there was an annual beans and cornbread congregational dinner. It took me a long time to understand why folks would look forward to and so excitedly share a meal as humble as that. It gradually sunk into my yankee mind that the source was pure nostalgia. Oklahoma had been the center of the depression that plagued our land in the ’30s. Many of our church people were children of that catastrophe. They were reliving tragic moments from their history. But they did so with a deep memories and ironic joy. Parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends – many of them long gone –  had riden out those times with them. They remembered much that few would understand. Beans and cornbread.

Oddly, as the years have gone by, we have regularly celebrated good meals of beans and cornbread. Nostalgia, perhaps. History, yes. The basics, definitely. I cooked up a patch today. A sacramental visit to good times and fine people.

Here’s a memento:

Leonard Cohen…

We watched “Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man” tonight. A cross between a reverent tribute and a documentary. There’s something about him that touches both of us at the deepest possible level. I f you have Netflix or some other passageway to films, this is for you, I think. I hope. Perhaps.

Listen. Hear. Grow.

Maundy Musing…

Several years ago, I was quite taken by a crucifix, created by our Pastor’s wife, Lynn. She had done it in textiles and attached it to a giant hanging behind our altar. I asked her if I might take the design and redo it with my own vision in clay. She gave me permission and I proceded to sculpt, glaze and fire several small versions of it.

I had an extremely dramatic rock on our front porch which I had picked up during a solo camping/fishing trip up in the White Mountains of Arizona. It seemed to fit the little black crucifix somehow. I attached the two.

One has to look carefully to see what is going on in that art-piece. Only a few notice it – the contrasts are too subtle. But those who do seem invariably surprised and thoughtful. Somehow it has it’s own personal effect.

It seemed a good thing to share on this Maundy Thursday. This is for you…