I’m danged if I haven’t left a crucial typo up on the blog for upwards of a month! Boy, that really rankles.
In my ‘Life: The Great Passing Through’ post I wrote:
‘We human’s accomplish the Great Passing Through in community. And therein lies many a tale. Indeed, all tales. Community, whether large or small, is the vehicle through which we bring about the magisterial Flowing Through of Life. And let me say one more thing, with a twinge of reserve: the Life of a community, large or small and in every corner of the globe throughout the ages, we comprehend, visualize, personify… as some form of God or another.’
But, and here is what hurts, I left out the ‘personify… as some form of God or another.’ The paragraph ended abruptly at ‘visualize…’, making no sense!
Imagine it this way. A hundred, a thousand strings of pearls, not circular but ongoing, braided and interwoven, thick and intertwined. Each individual pearl is an individual human being. The individual string beading a pearl to the next is the flow of life from one generation to the next. On its own, the individual string is fragile, easily broken, but twined with all the others it is strong, unbreakable. The entire collection of beaded strings is the community.
So we, you and I, accomplish Life’s Great Passing Through in Community. You think a man and woman alone can succeed? Survive? Even if they did, what about the next generation?
No, it takes darn near twenty-years to bring a child to adulthood. I’m talking functional adulthood here, because we all know a few not-so-functional.
Community is the collective protecting, raising, teaching of the next generation. So much goes into the task, as it should. And not all of us are cut out or inclined towards parenthood. In community there is belonging and meaning here too.
Again, in ‘The Great Passing Through’ I wrote:
‘Participate fully, that is, be one with the Passing Through in both ourself and a healthy living community and we experience fullness and joy through belonging; feel outside of the group and unhappiness clouds our days.’
During the course of my week’s work I have the privilege of visiting several different Hutterite colonies that dot the countryside around Calgary. There I plainly witness this collective rearing of the next generation, the reverence for Life’s Great Passing Through. Every member of the community has a role to play and smilingly goes about their day’s work. The colonies, ranging in size from about fifteen to forty families at most, are thriving.
Other communities, other conditions.
What is your community? The neighborhood you call home? A circle of friends? Your colleagues at work? The city around you? The country on your passport? A civilization such as our Western European, with North American offshoot? Earth? The cosmos?
Here things are getting a little muddled. Probably you feel a certain degree of allegiance to each of the above. What rituals are there to nurture your sense of belonging, to strengthen those inner ties that bind you to others in any particular group?
There’s a whole field of study focusing on the manager’s role in fostering a community of sorts in the workplace. Some extremely fine minds have put a great deal of work into group dynamics and the building of loyalties to companies and corporations.
Who’s tasked with the job of watching over the well-being of a society such as that of your neighborhood, city, or country? And what about your civilization, all humankind, or all of Life?
Ahh, I’ve landed squarely in the realm of the Priest/Poet/Shaman. But where, dear reader, is He or She?
Rope is strong, but frayed and unraveled it is easily broken. And so with the collective strings of pearls.
When all is said and done, Life is ALL there is.