Every once and a while it is good to put things in perspective. Kathryn and I have a son, Matthew (Matt), and a daughter, Emanuela (Ema); they are doing things that further the art of being human in ways that (at least speaking for myself) I could never hope to with all my mutterings about life and times in the church and faith. The perspective I have gained has helped me see my present concerns against a different backdrop.
Through Matt I have been able to glimpse, in an evolutionary – developmental (aka evo-devo) way, a history much older than any of normally part of “holy history” and find even there a whisper of the wonder that lies behind good theology. He has just published a paper on the discovery of chicken embryos (how be it mutated ones) with teeth and from that finding evidence to support a common ancestor of both chickens and alligators. For real science see his paper, The Development of Archosaurian First-Generation Teeth in a Chicken Mutant and a report on his paper . The material stuff in some odd way remembers. At least some of our history is there, hidden in ancient patterns.
Through Ema I have been challenged again to see again the many leveled layering of observation, emotion and sensibility that builds up and forms the lattice work of the ordinary world. In her art Ema takes apart and reassembles those layers so that even I can sometimes see the underpinnings of what seem to be simple experiences of the real. This week Ema is part of a new show at the Frey Norris Gallery in San Francisco. Her work is energetic and challenging, but most of all (for me) it opens the gates of perception, and gives me new perspective on all the stuff of belief.
With these great tools of perception, it reduces the size and shape of the issues I currently deal with on this blog. It may be very important for the Episcopal Church in the context of the Anglican Communion to work out its future as a church, but very important is relative. Next to good art and good science some of this stuff we deal with is perhaps less desperately essential to the unfolding of the universe and the construction of reality than we previously supposed.
What is clear is how blessed we feel to be part of their lives. Perhaps some of their courage and exploration will find its way into the work for a church that can exhibit love and justice both.