He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
John 1:10. King James Version.
Jesus was a carpenter and He worked with a saw and a hammer
And His hands could form a table true enough to stand forever
And He might have spun His life out in the coolness of the mornings
But He put aside His tools and He walked the burning highways
To build a house from folks like you and me.
Performed by Johnny Cash, Written by C. Wren.
The artisan did not amount to very much. You traded his tradition for relativity, the working class for a mickey-mouse education, and his product for tourism, so what did you expect? It is not easy to embody raw energy harnessed to regrowth when the world is licking its wounds, or to symbolize restraint when pestilence is roaring unchecked, but the artisan should be fortified by the respect earned by the workers who rebuilt the economy after the last world war, and be ready to do it again when the mighty have crashed all around us. Unfortunately, he will have to deal with his substance abuse first, the violence embodied by the collapse of civil obedience and the irresistible fate of tradition in the disappearance of the past. Somehow, he will have to stop behaving like an ape behind the wheel, and deprived of his tribe in the pub, find a sober way to protect his self-esteem from the barbs of his similarly incarcerated loved ones aimed at its gargantuan absence.
I wonder what happened to the student who chalked the mosque outside the Quarry Hotel, and all the revellers who spilled into the intersection to marvel at a religious icon in a galaxy they couldn’t see. He will be a qualified architect by now. Or an Imam. Or both. Many of his elders have gone to paradise, no doubt, and I feel sure that you would wish me to convey your condolences to any of his community who might be reading this. Actually, all of the communities who gathered at the Quarry that year will have lost elders. Kyrie eleison is an injunction, not a supplication: it reminds God that She might have made the world, but we invest Her with our loving-kindness, the merciful self-love which is our escape from Her cruelty. It is not self-sacrifice or blind faith to leave staple commodities on supermarket shelves, but simple mercy. O Lord, thou art merciful! And there is no more profound recognition of mercy than the identification of the crucifix symbol with the midnight keystone of the Galaxy at Easter, the Southern Cross and the head of the Emu. May it rekindle your faith in celestial kindness!
In one human lifetime, our understanding of the universe has expanded from the consciousness of being surrounded by stars to the consciousness of being surrounded by galaxies, the remnant light of an original conflagration, and the mysterious dominant forces of karma, namely, dark matter and dark energy. In one year, our understanding of country, the context and legacy of our brief lives, has replaced a celebration of global structure and connectedness with a bunkering of independence and social distance, and introduced to discourse an influence on human history and evolution which all along to the intuition was real, and in a bottom-up view was obvious, the dark matter of disease, and the dark energy of the ‘healing’ or pharmaceutical industry, the First Horseman of The Apocalypse. Intergalactic travel may be no more outlandish a cosmological joke than global multicultural connectivity when the expansion of the distance between food source and kitchen door can end in 60km traffic jams.
Before Euclid and Pythagoras, there were four cardinal directions and a hunt for correspondences. Who was that physicist who agreed with Jung about synchronicity? Somebody whose memory endures in an age in which things have names, no doubt. As a matter of fact, a word might capture the meaning of a thing, but meaning is not a thing, nor is a word, nor a thing. For five thousand years, locals around here have been trying to come up with words to explain what happened to the overhead bridge on the Milky Way East-West Arterial at Early Winter Equinox, towards which a dark emu rose vertically from the sunrise side. Best they’ve been able to come up with is an injunction to imagine it was there once, and therefore still is. What are the chances of the annual tradition of commemorating a crucifixion coinciding accidentally with the midnight transit of a Constellation called Crux at the apex of an arc of the Milky Way stretching across the southern sky from due east to due west?
Are you in, or fast approaching, your seventies? Denied subjectivity by the object of your faith? Or merely awash with Dark Energy? On behalf of The Creator, and Her undercover artisans everywhere, let my apology for transcendent finitude resound in the gateway to your country. The rest is astrology.