View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Update on haiku/choir flaps

Went to the haiku meeting at the professor’s home.

It was this huge house with the two story addition that is home for just two people.

The woman he’d interrupted at the last meeting did not show up.

Nor did the best haiku poet in the group.

We did not decide on new leadership. (At least we hadn’t by the time I left; the meeting ran late and a few folks lingered, so maybe there was a coup!)

We did not read haiku.

We barely talked about haiku.

Instead, we toured his Japanese world: viewing dozens of bonsai trees – the trees kept trimmed so they are miniaturized and live in pots – did some arranging of sticks, flowers and branches (Ikebana), looked at some shaped stones, “listened” to incense, and held a tea ceremony in his tea house.

As he took up through his world, he kept up a running commentary about what everything meant, where he acquired some of his items, and the cost.

$60 for a small packet of incense?

$160 for a rock?

$10,000 for the tea house?

Part of me felt like the fellows in the Bible upset at the woman anointing Jesus’ feet with perfume.

Another part of me appreciated his passion for these things.

But I kept wondering why he brought up money so much.

Was he trying to impress us?

Was he just sharing his amazement at the prices?

Was the money important to him?

Did he think the cost of things is something that would be important to us?

Who knows.

I found it all overwhelming – too many things crammed in – and excessive. I had the sense he very much needed to be in control.

And in the end, my overwhelming feeling was one of sadness.

As for choir –

The Jokerrrrr started in right away making jokes at the expense of the Junior Choir Director during practice before Mass.

I told him to knock it off.

At Mass, the Junior Choir Director was the cantor, so we did not sit near each other. After Mass he came over to me and apologized for what had happened Wednesday and said he’d been out of line.

That was classy of him.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lee, Sorry that you felt sorrow when you came to my home. Saddly, you totally missed the point of the visit. It would require more time and effort to go through what I had hoped to share with you that day in May. The concern you have for my mentioning the cost of 3 of over 700 things that I shared does speak to your totally missing the point of the visit and striving to see only what you want to see. I mentioned the cost of those unique things to stress that in different cultures people place value on things that we in the U.S. don't, and don't understand. Also, that rock you mentioned is worth $1000 and the stand it sat on cost $160. I could have sold it to some one 2 weeks ago for $2000. Value of things from different culture is in the eye of the beholder. Sorry I wasted your time here at my home where 3 of us live, not two, along with 40-60 dogs.

1:28 PM  

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