Saturday, July 17, 2010

Love as God's "favorite" ingredient

Lats night I had some friends over for the making of pottery and for a long, summer dinner. We took the appetizer of focachia and garlic herb dipping oil into the studio with our beers, made some pots while the grill was on the 4th hour of roasting pork parts, and then ate a meal of roasted squash from my garden, snow peas in garlic aoli and jasmine rice with dill butter. Between courses we ate frozen red seedless grapes - like little globules of grape sorbet! Amazing as a way to clean the pallet. And so easy. Just keep a bag of grapes in the freezer!

Dessert was a cheese course of St. Andre, goat cheese, manchego, flat breads and fresh fruit over in the pottery again while the last of the guests made a small crock on the wheel - he was perfectly spirtually centered - and it showed in his pot.

At one point in our conversation around pottery and God, one of my guests mentioned that the artist tends to place his best self into his or her work by having a "favorite" kind of work. In other words, when asked what my "favorite" pot is to make, I immediately and without reservation, said "the two-pound bowl." A "Two-pounder" is a common eating bowl - like one would use for a dinner of rice and stir fry or a breakfast of cereal and fruit. It sits well in one hand, is curved around slightly so that hot things stay hot. It has a thicker but somewhat narrow bottom so that it sits well in the hand and is meant simply to go with a spoon and some comfort food for a one-meal-event. That is my favorite pot. My second favorite pot would be the tea bowl and then the tea pot.

We got to discussing how any artist (even if they do not yet know they are one - for we are ALL an artist by default, regardless if we have had the opportunity to find our medium in life) has a "favorite" element. For a potter it may be a shape like my one-meal-bowl. Fopr a computer programer it might be making a web site for a friend. For a painter it may be cobalt blue. For a chef it may be working with pastas or working with fatty pork products - slow roasted and caramelized like the clay pot pork dish I will be making in a few minutes. And for a poet it may be the use of couplets while for a parent it may be story time.

We all have these favorite things we fuse into our work as a theme. We each have our favorite thing which is in everything we make even if only as an echo.

For God, we considered - over lots of wine and laughter- for God that "favorite element seems to be "love."

"Love" seems to be God's "favorite thing" to use in his creating. Love is in humans like blue is in a blue painting by an artist who loves "blue." But when the artist is painting an autumnal scene on a cloudy day - a painting in which there is no overt "blue," that does not mean that "blue" is absent, since it will be used in the mixing of some of the other colors being used in the paining - blue in the back and white for the clouds - blue in the reds for the purple tinge to some leaves - blue in the greens for the teal of some of the late greens of fall and for the fir trees. "Blue is still there because the artist cannot help herself! He absolutely loves - LOVES- blue. So even when it is not a primary color in a painting, it simply finds other ways to make its appearance.

So too with God. Love is in everything. Love is God's favorite ingredient - His favorite color - His favorite medium - His favorite form - His favorite shape - His favorite word-play - His absolutely favorite thing to use when he creates anything. Love just enters into everything He creates because it is God's main ingredient and it is the action of the Trinity- that constant perichoresis - that flowing of love from Father to Spirit to Son to Spirit - to Son - to Father- to Spirit-to Son - all the time - every second of every day and outside of time.

So when we fight - we humans - and we do...then we still have so much love in us that we default back to loving each other - if we are living into our true selves. And when we walk in a forest we are seeing love as green. And when we are cooking we are seeing love as caramelizing. And when we are talking with each other we see love in one of its purest forms. and when we sin we see love as having been counterfeited.

Our friends are the people in whom we see love - God's favorite ingredient. And in our enemies or those with whom we are in argument - we see love as molten potential - the mast of a ship coming up over the horizon. We can't help it. It is how we were made. It is our primary ingredient - because it is God's and we are made in God's image.


  1. Couldn't get past the scrumptious description of the dinner! When are you coming to The Blue Goose to share a long southwestern dinner?? I'll gladly let you cook. :)

  2. Wonderful reflection, both theologically and gastronomically speaking, Charles! "Molten potential".....what a great phrase!