“Godric” by Frederick Buechner – The advice Godric received from Tom Ball

godric3

“This life of ours is like a street that passes many doors,” Ball said, “nor think you all doors I mean are wood. Every day’s a door and every night. When a man throws wide his arms to you in friendship, it’s a door he opens same as when a woman opens hers in wantonness. The street forks out, and there’s two doors to choose between. The meadow that tempts you rest your bones and dream a while. The rackribbed child that begs for scraps the dogs have left. The sea that calls a man to travel far. They all are doors, some God’s and some the Fiend’s. So choose with care which one’s you take, my son, and one day – who can say – you’ll reach the holy door itself.”

Godric, p. 24

I find these medieval views of life to be quite refreshing in their “black and white” morality versus the “grey areas” relativism of our postmodern age, and in their sheer meaningfulness. Have we postmoderns relativized our lives into practical meaninglessness? And are we requiring our children to make bricks with their lives without giving them any straw to make them with?

220px-Figures_The_Israelites'_Cruel_Bondage_in_Egypt

A depiction of the Hebrews’ bondage in Egypt, during which they were forced to make bricks without straw.

Comments, questions, critiques, likes, are always welcome.

Thank you!

BMC @ Manifest Propensity, 2013

“Godric” by Frederick Buechner – On the wounds of friendship

godric3

I have started reading the unusual and wonderful book “Godric” by Frederick Buechner, and plan to post some of the colorful passages therein as I discover them. I am grateful to have recently discovered the books of Frederick Buechner.

In chapter one, Godric tells of his five friends:

“That’s five friends, one for each of Jehu’s wounds, and Godric bears their mark still on what’s left of him as in their time they all bore his on them. What’s friendship, when all’s done, but the giving and taking of wounds?”

When Godric banished Fairweather and Tune, they all three bled for it, and part of Godric snaked of too nevermore to come again. And it’s Godric’s flesh that Ailred’s cough cleaves like an axe. And when brave Mouse went down off Wales, he bore to the bottom the cut of Godric’s sharp farewell. And when Gillian vanished in a Dover wood, she took with her all but the husk of Godric’s joy.”

Gentle Jehu, Mary’s son, be thine the wounds that heal our wounding. Press thy bloody scars to ours that thy dear blood may flow in us and cleanse our sin. Be thou in us and we in thee that Godric, Gillian, Ailred, Mouse and thou may be a woundless one at last.” (Godric, 7-8)

Notes: “Fairweather” and “Tune” were actually snakes, though “Mouse” was a real man, and a sea captain; Ailred was an abbot; of Gillian Godric says, “I have forgotten my father’s face. But her face I’ll remember ever. Gillian I will not forget.”

Comments are always welcomed! Thank you.

BMC @ Manifest Propensity, 2013