This is a Japanese tea bowl from the exhibit we went to in Kalamazoo in mid-November. My eye was focusing on leaves of all kinds during that season of leaf transformation.Today it is fitting well with a paragraph I came across in a Christian Century article in the December 13th issue, "Times of Abundance", by Amy Frykholm. She interviewed Terra Brockman, an advocate for sustainable agriculture and founder of The Land Connection. The paragraph came in the midst of a discussion of people's reactions to "imperfect" fruits and vegetables:
I learned about the importance of imperfection when I lived in Japan. In the Japanese tea ceremony, you have to use imperfect clay bowls because the aging, cracked, asymmetrical bowls force you to see beyond the surface to the spark of light and beauty within. The spark points to perfection within imperfection.
Food is not about some perfect size or color or presentation. It's about joining us to the earth, our fellow creatures, family, guests, and ultimately God. It's about life here and now, about seeing the spark of light and beauty in our world and our lives, even with all their imperfection and unpredictability.
Amen -- it's like the broken and blessed pot I wrote of November 28, it's like all our lives. It's about seeing the spark of light and beauty in the midst of all the imperfection, unpredictability, and change.
So here's a few more sparks of light, found in what at first glance was a gray, frozen, barren landscape.
"Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"
I've taken on a prayer practice of looking for the moments of light in each day, whether actual or metaphorical, and then writing or posting photos of what I find.