June 13, 2010
Good afternoon, friends,
The time in the mountains was filled with wonderful things--watching the clouds drift up the valley lower than the craggy mountain peaks that towered above them; a contented elk chewing his cud in the shade of some aspen; the rushing flood of the Big Thompson River only inches beneath the bridge; the scent and taste of coffee in the early morning chill; the laughter, food and stories shared with friends, the sense of the goodness of God's creation and the urgent need for our careful stewardship of all that God has given--I was grateful for each hour, and came home with slow reluctance.
We talked about the being/doing question, and laughed at the ways in which at times our individual "doing" seemed like a sturdy reliable (and, admittedly, amusing) shadow of who each of us was. More seriously, we agreed as we were packing to leave that it had been a nurturing, productive time at a level difficult to describe. Who we were together made what we did together assume a weight of meaning beyond the activity itself. We did what we did because of who we were; yet, what we did was in one sense only a shadow of who we were--the life together we had shared was certainly more than a sum total of what we had done.
I have a chronic distrust of the dualism that unconsciously creeps into our thinking from our Greek ancestors. How useful is the being/doing dichotomy in understanding ourselves and our life journey?