Art, Poetry, Music, and Nature for the New Year
Friday, February 5 2021
The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster
All spoke well of Jesus and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” Jesus said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.'” And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. Luke 4:22–25
Is it possible to miss small talk? The little social niceties that are that much more intimate when not separated by six feet and a mask, or the awkwardness of a zoom call where no one can talk just one-on-one but only to the whole group. Do you miss talking about the weather? Maybe it’s just me. Here is Annie Dillard’s reflection on the weather.
“There are seven or eight categories of phenomena in the world that are worth talking about, and one of them is the weather. Anytime you care to get in your car and drive across the country and over the mountains, come into our valley, cross Tinker Creek, drive up the road to the house, walk across the yard, knock on the door and ask to come in and talk about the weather, you’d be welcome.”
I cannot wait for the day when we can gather near enough to one another talk freely about things as urgent and mundane as the weather. I cannot wait for the packed rooms full of frivolous social-theatre of comments on the thunderstorm, the rainbow, the frost, the dew, the sunrise. I cannot wait. In the meantime, maybe we all just need a few small-talk pen-pals. Tell me how the weather is where you are, and I’ll happily respond.
O God of rainbow, dew, sunrise, thunderstorm: give us connection to one another, one small conversation at a time. Amen.