In time the snow will rise, in time the snow will rise
In time the Lord will rise, in time the Lord will rise
Silent night, Holy night
Silent night, nothing feels right
The Tree at the Centre of the Universe
I used this as a prayer of confession for our Seeds Consecration Service in January. I chose it because one of our covenanting themes, ‘Grow Home’ asks us to re-imagine the vow of chastity in our exploration of community together. I won’t talk alot about what that means here, other than say it is not just about sex, or not having sex. Re-imagining chastity involves deepening our understanding of the connections between flesh and spirit and treating them as sacred. I often say to people that for most of the Seeds mobs chastity has had more to do with how we deal with food rather than sex… but i digress!
It was the vow of chastity, that I thought of when I came across this creative, ‘personal is political’ experiment with regards to fashion and how we clothe our bodies by Kristy Powell. Entitled “One Dress Protest” , it documents her journey and thoughts as she seek to wear one black dress for an entire calendar year. I discovered her blog through Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries.
Kristy’s reflections upon a JC Penny commercial formed the basis of our confession during the liturgy at our recent Seeds Consecration Service.
I played the 30 second video twice and voiced some of her words during the second running.
All the women in this commercial seem to be in the middle of their daily routine. They are sitting in coffee shops descending fire-escapes (seriously?), getting on the subway…
Yet something pulls them away. Almost in mid-stride all of their eyes glaze over (or, in the woman in the coffee shop’s case, in mid-sip) and they glide away from normalcy. Walking away from their already fashionable lives, it’s almost as if they are caught in the orbit of something more powerful than their own free will, like a modern-day pied piper:
In fact, they look eerily similar to lifeless zombies as they move through the streets.
Their numbers grow, but where are they going? Who cares, they don’t seem to mind their marionette-like existence. What has their attention? Surprisingly, the crowd gathers around a tree:
And finally, the payoff – an orange leaf falls to the ground, signifying autumn, which apparently means it’s time to go out and buy some clothes at JC Penney, “where fall fashion is beautiful and affordable.”
Because everyone knows that this time of year—when the leaves explode in color and catch our breath, when the air crisps in our lungs, and when pumpkins and squash abound—is really just a wondrous reminder of our need to go shopping.
God, we confess: