The Sublime Gift

Beltane                                       Waning Planting Moon

” Life can’t bring you the sublime gift it has for you until you interrupt your pursuit of a mediocre gift.”

Woolly brother Tom Crane sent this to me.  It took me back to my recent post about Siah Armajani and his personal commitment to staying within his skill set.  When I worked for the church in the now long ago past, I had a boss, Bob Lucas, a good man, who had several sayings he used a lot.  One of them was also similar in spirit, “Don’t major in the minors.”

Stop focusing on the small things you might be able to do well to the exclusion of being challenged by the prajaparmita400serious, important matters.  Stop your pursuit of a mediocre gift.   The tendency to judge our worth by the accumulation of things–a he who dies with the best toys wins mentality–presses us to pursue money or status, power, with all of our gifts.  You may be lucky enough, as Kate is, to use your gifts in a pursuit that also makes decent money; on the other hand if  your work life and your heart life don’t match up, you risk spending your valuable work time and energy in pursuit of a mediocre gift, hiding the sublime one from view.

This is not an affair without risk.  Twenty years ago I shifted from the ministry which had grown cramped and hypocritical for me to what I thought was my sublime gift, writing.  At least from the perspective of public recognition I have to say it has not manifested itself as my sublime gift.  Instead, it allowed me to push away from the confinement of Christian thought and faith.  A gift in itself for me.  The move away from the ministry also opened a space for what I hunch may be my sublime gift, an intense engagement with the world of plants and animals.

This is the world of the yellow and black garden spider my mother and I watched out our kitchen window over 50+ years ago.  It is the world of flowers and vegetables, soil and trees, dogs and bees, the great wheel and the great work.  It is a world bounded not by political borders but connected through the movement of weather, the migration of the birds and the Monarch butterflies.  It is a world that appears here, on our property, as a particular instance of a global network, the interwoven, interlaced, interdependent web of life and its everyday contact with the its necessary partner, the inanimate.

So, you see, the real message is stop pursuit of the mediocre gift.  After that, the sublime gift life has to offer may then begin to pursue you.