Sunday, February 19, 2006


a concept in nouwen's lifesigns has me thinking. he uses the word fecundity, which is an archaic way of saying fruitfulness. nouwen makes the distinction between fruitfulness and products.

fruitfulness is the byproduct of a life aright. holy living. being present. trust.

products are the result of fear and insecurity. striving for security, status, and control. manufactured as opposed to gifts or giftedness which produce fruit.

fruit cannot be manufactured only nurtured. products cannot be nurtured only manufactured (that is my spin on it anyway).

i have two poets whom i trust to the uttermost. they have opposing views of my poetry collection. one says, go forward and publish. the other, no. i read through my collection again last night and am convinced it is the fruit of my life, not a product manufactured for marketability (per se, that is not to say it is not marketable).

this can be problematic for a publisher, which is why i had opted to self-publish the work and be done with it. but i keep coming back to the question, do i want products or fruit? (not phrased in that way until just now, but the underlying question is the same.)

i want fruit. i want fecundity. i want to nourish a soul, not just produce more and more words that might fit some niche and make a big, loud noise.

i have come to appreciate the vast difference between making noises and resounding. there is a way to impose noise upon others, children do this well. my daughter has learned all the verses of the star spangled banner and can sing them and play them on the piano (without the score before her). the first time i heard this, i was delighted. the twelfth time, not so much. now, the gozillionth time i've heard it, i'm sick of it. i had made peace with that song long ago. thought it roused a certain affection for this land i live on, but now, the song sung at any and every moment of the day, then accompanied, grates on my last nerve. i have to move away from the song for it has become noise to me.

i love to hear my daughter sing, but i would rather it were shakespeare's, sigh no more. or pardon goddess of the night which we learned for last year's renaissance faire (and took first place in the music competition. it helped that no one else showed up! but we are still proud of the trophy). this is a melancholy tune which turns joyous at the end.

the trouble with fruit is, there are some bad years. some bad seasons. the weather here in texas has been schizophrenic to say the least. i was in flipflops and a tank top thursday, by friday, the thermometer plummeted some 50 degrees, and wool swearter and jackets were mandatory.

our trees are budding, and have been since early january. this freeze will likely kill the tender flesh and this spring, who knows what it will look like in texas. many bulbs have poked through the soil in our near 90 degree temps of late, and they will likely succumb to the freeze and their early rising will result in their untimely demise.

fruit is uncertain at best. then there are birds, worm, disease. all manner of forces set out to claim the fruit.

but it all comes back to trust. to resting in dormancy, storing up for the spring, and fruiting in season.

that is where i'm at. i am hoping the fruit produced this season is edible, nourishing, and pleasing to God.

No comments: