Saturday, September 24, 2011

Watermelon and Paul's Letters

I've spent the last ten days, and really the ten before it, being mostly overwhelmed. Starting a new job, making food, finishing up a large volunteer project -- but most of my energy has gone into working through the New Testament letters as part of the Art of The Saint John's Bible, volume 3 project. Coming face to face with passages in Paul's letters has thrown me for a real loop, and I can't even really explain it now, though every day I understand it a bit more.

My evangelical history with these passages, my graduate work on Paul where I was encouraged to radically re-envision Paul's role and words, and my ongoing attempts to really embrace and incorporate Catholic theology, all collided and have left me feeling somewhat disoriented. I've always found Paul daunting but a bit thrilling, too. However, I've felt free to think and reflect on Paul myself, with no real consequences. Writing for a general audience about the letters is something else again. My daily task is to go page by page, letter by letter, and write something that gives context to the highlighted passages. But I also need to consider the whole of what has been emphasized in the text treatments and, in some ways, try to figure out the intention, not so much of Paul as of the Committee on Illumination and Text that put together the plan for The Saint John's Bible.

I'm almost there, and after more erasing and restarting than in any other part of this project, I will have a draft of Letters today and can move on to, gulp, Revelation! In many ways, however, Revelation is easier. There are several full-page illuminations with lots to discuss, and the overall message is fairly simple and clear!

I have been wanting to share one more garden delight. When harvesting before the early frost, I came across this one, perfect, beautiful watermelon! I planted just as many watermelon plants as pumpkins, but after early vining, I couldn't find them in the mass of squash plants. So I was thrilled to pull this guy out of the field.

Last week when Steve and I were both home for lunch, I cut it open. Watermelon! Pink-fleshed and incredibly juicy, it was slightly sweet but not too sweet, and had seeds just like in the old days before genetic modification bred them out. The knife slicing through flesh and rind is always so satisfying in watermelon.

It made me very happy to eat the little guy.  

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