What I find immediately accessible, and yet not often recognized or remembered consciously, is the miracle of the immediate, the miracle of material reality. There’s so much to this reality.
When I think of material, I immediately think of cloth, of that plant stuff that is woven. It used to be that the stuff was picked by hand, spun into thread by industrious people, woven in the loom.
In the olden days the druid folk would tear off a piece of their clothing and tie it to a celebrated tree during May dances. It was valuable because of all the labor that went into it, this cloth, and the folk didn’t have much of it, making the offering that much more poignant.
And now, if one is in bed or if one is sitting up on some upholstered furniture, notice: look at the cloth, see the threads, be comforted by the threads that are all around. There’s all this fabric, much of which was not picked up, spun into thread and woven into cloth by human hands. Rather, machines… and we are surrounded in abundance. But the cloth is miraculous anyways. It was harvested indirectly by engineers in a way, engineers and designers and business people, and now more people can wear cloth without fear of losing too much during May dances because we all have this abundance of clothes.
I am comforted by signs of use, too. The Mexican blanket we brought back from Oaxaca, vibrant memories recycled by being draped over the chair. And now that the blanket has holes, we’ll love it all the more thinking about the time that has passed, what has transpired. Perhaps I’ll collect a strip of it for my shrine.
The coffee stains on my armrest, the matting down, wear & tear of the upholstery and how this is loved as part of my nest… this is my nest going through time’s process, and there’s the care of our little maintenances, vacuuming what has dropped onto the carpet.
Some people say they see Jesus in cloth. And I think on one level what they mean even if they don’t consciously know it is that they see the holy in material reality.
That extends, you know. Your life extends. It’s not just here-now, and it wasn’t just in past-then. Your life is thread and if you’ve woven it into cloth, you extend everywhere. And you have woven it into cloth–everyone does, and you do extend everywhere–everyone does and always has since there’s ever been anyone.