Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bed and Board Redux

More quotes from Robert Capon's Bed and Board

“The reason the headship of the husband is so violently objected to is that it is misunderstood…the Bible does not day that men and women are unequal. Neither does the Church. There are no second-class citizens in the New Jerusalem. It is husbands and wives that are unequal. It is precisely in marriage…that they enter into a relationship of superior to inferior—of head to body. And the difference there is not one of worth, ability or intelligence, but of role. It is functional, not organic. It is based on the exigencies of the Dance, not on a judgment as to talent. In the ballet, in any intricate dance, one dancer leads, the other follows. Not because one is better (he may or may not be), but because that is his part. Our mistake, here as elsewhere, is to think the equality and diversity are unreconcilable. The common notion of equality is based on the image of the march. In a parade, really unequal beings are dressed alike, given guns of identical length, trained to hold them at the same angle, and ordered to keep step with a fixed beat. But it is not the parade that is true to life; it is the dance. There you have real equals assigned unequal roles in order that each may achieve his individual perfection in the whole. Nothing is less personal than a parade; nothing more so than a dance. It is the choice image of fulfillment through function, and it comes very close to the heart of the Trinity. Marriage is a hierarchical game played by co-equal persons. Keep that paradox and you move in the freedom of the Dance; alter it, and you grow weary with marching (53-54).”

To be a Mother is to be the sacrament—the effective symbol—of place. Mothers do not make homes, they are our home: in the simple sense that we begin our days by a long sojourn within the body of a woman; in the extended sense that she remains our center of gravity through the years. She is the very diagram of belonging, the where in whose vacinty we are fed and watered, and have our wounds bound up and our noses wiped. She is geography incarnate, with her breasts and her womb, her relative immobility, and her hands reaching up to us the fruitfulness of the earth (62).”

“The world is indeed full of a number of things…The amateur. The lover who sees that play matters. When God made the world it is unlikely that he found it hard work. All the pictures of drudges slaving over watchmaking are not nearly as good a likeness of the Creator as one little boy blowing soap bubbles through his thumb and forefinger. He doesn’t do it because he has to—only because he likes to (121).”

1 comment:

Jason Parolini said...

WOW!! What terrific and penetrating observations. Of course, even if we desire to dance and not march, we dance in this "poor fallen world". My children and I were reading Sir Gawain & The Lady Ragnell. Of course in this story King Arthur & Sir Gawain meet up with the invinsible Knight of Tarn Wathelyne....Gromer Somer Joure. They are charged with finding out "what thing it is that women desire most?". You will remember that on their way back to the castle of Tarn Wathelyne after one year, Arthur is sure that he does not have the correct answer when they (he & Gawain) meet up with the witch, Lady Ragnell. She gives them the answer. When King Arthur first meets Sir Gromer Somer Joure, he tries to give some of the answers he had collected in the intervening year, to which the reply comes back "You are but a dead man Arthur...pomp, state, fine clothes, mirth, love, luxury, idleness and the rest of the nonsense you have been reading - none is true". Then Arthur reveals the answer he learned from Lady Ragnell to the knight, "As I came on my way I met a loathly lady on the moor, and she told me that what women desire is to rule over men - yea, even over the greatest."