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a givenness to mowing the grass


"So great an art can only be learnt by continual practice; but this much is worth writing down, that, as in all good work, to know the thing with which you work is the core of the affair.

Good verse is best written on good paper with an easy pen, not with a lump of coal on a whitewashed wall.  The pen thinks for you; and so does the scythe mow for you if you treat it honorably and in a manner that makes it recognize its service.

The manner is this.

You must regard the scythe as a pendulum that swings, not as a knife that cuts.  A good mower puts no more strength into his stroke than into his lifting.

Again, stand up to your work.  

The bad mower, eager and full of pain, leans forward and tries to force the scythe through the grass.  The good mower, serene and able, stands as nearly straight as the shape of the scythe will let him, and follows up every stroke closely, moving his left foot forward.  Then also let every stroke get well away.

Mowing is a thing of ample gestures, like drawing a cartoon. Then, again, get yourself into a mechanical and repetitive mood: be thinking of anything at all but your mowing, and be anxious only when there seems some interruption to the monotony of the sound.  

In this mowing should be like one’s prayers — all of a sort and always the same, and so made that you can establish a monotony and work them, as it were, with half your mind: that happier half, the half that does not bother.”

Hilaire Belloc, The Mowing of a Field

The ministry of the monotony.

…I have a givenness to mowing the grass.

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a givenness to just the regular people

"When we were kids, my brother and I used to pretend that we were heroes, the only ones who could save the day; but maybe we’re just the regular people, the one’s who get saved."

Zach Braff, Wish I Was Here

Maybe we’re just the one’s who get saved.  

…I have a givenness to just the regular people.

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a givenness to be the mysterium lunae

"When the Church is self-referential, inadvertently, she believes she has her own light; she ceases to be the mysterium lunae and gives way to that very serious evil, spiritual worldliness (which according to De Lubac, is the worst evil that can befall the Church).  

It lives to give glory only to one another.”

Jorge Mario Bergoglio

And not to be self-referential.

…I have a givenness to be the mysterium lunae.

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a givenness to where I left off

"I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.  

I feel as if this tree knows everything I ever think of when I sit here.  

When I come back to it, I never have to remind it of anything; I begin just where I left off.”

Willa Cather, O Pioneers!


…I have a givenness to where I left off.