|We've been here before, sheltered beneath the spreading rusty limbs of Joe Tyler's tree|
Romans 12 (English Standard Version), scattered bits in italics throughout
P!nk, Glitter in the Air (Grammies performance, 2010)
P!nk, Try (American Music Awards performance, 2012)
Sunday, and headed out for a Tri-City Tour (TCT), a favorite 20 to 30 mile circle through three cities along some pleasant biways familiar to regular readers, but still hungry for something more to fuel the ride. Browsing some other blogger posts, I came across an offhand thought on Two Feet Off the Asphalt about unpicked fruit on trees, which got my juices flowing, and more importantly perhaps, my picking hands picking. First, to the fruit trees!
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
|Fruit on my tree, sweet, ripe, juicy, and now picked, and in my belly (at least a couple of them, anyway)|
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function
|Grapefruit aerial acrobatics, their smooth aerodynamic profile yields excellent flight characteristics|
So to sit a moment and enjoy my fresh fruit pre-TCT fuel breakfast, I recall that I wanted to re-listen / re-watch the American Music Awards performance by P!nk of her song, "Try," which I saw when it first aired purely by chance--I think my daughters and wife were watching, and they know I also enjoy P!nk, so they called me over.
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
You can see the video linked above, but I mention it here purely because of my reaction to it: I was stunned, and it brought tears to my eyes, leaving my family sort of wondering what the heck was wrong. So intense, athletic, and moving, it seemed to me. And not lip synching, with several of the moves in the dance being very physical, bordering on the violence that the song talks about. When she lands on the mattress and you can hear her "oomph!" through her live microphone as she hits, it was very real to me, along with her slightly quavering voice as she goes through the moves, more or less perfectly, with a remarkable combination of grace and athleticism.
Part of my tears were with regret or empathy, that anyone would have such experiences that she acted out in the abusive/violent moves in the dance with such authenticity.
If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Having re-watched / re-listened to "Try," and again being moved, I pulled up the other video linked above, P!nk's 2010 performance at the Grammies of "Glitter in the Air." Just spectacular, reinforcing the idea in my head that she is not yet as famous or praised as she deserves. Also, anytime I may feel despair or anger at the superficiality and shallowness of most of our popular entertainments, I can think of these two performances, recall that she has sold something like 40 million records, and start to hope that sometimes when we pick our pop stars, we actually get it right. I'm not sure that I'm that enamored of her music that I'm ready to shell out $300 for a ticket to see her when she plays a gymnasium venue in Phoenix with mediocre acoustics this year, but I'll definitely buy her albums and follow her career.
Happily satiated on grapefruit, and mind seeded with P!nk music and acrobatics, I set out on the ride. Try, try, try.
|Grapefruit cutter, post-meal, used to snag a cobweb in the corner, just looked cool I thought|
How did the Romans 12 come into it? Somehow buried in my subconscious, the line about "For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function," floated into my brain as I was picking the fruit, now no longer left unpicked, no longer standing as a riddle for those who happened by: why is no one picking that ripe fruit? Could I, a passerby hungry, and appreciative of fresh fruit, pick some as I pass by? If not, why not? Will it not just rot on the tree, or fall to the ground and be eaten by vermin? Such a bounty, it should be enjoyed in its time, yes?
Yes, yes, with juice and pips smeared across my face and running down my chin, with loud and wondrous music playing and stunning dramatic acrobatics flashing across the screen, prior to heading out on a glorious bike ride, yes!
Enjoy the fruit, I say. We're not all here to do everything, each has a function, according to grace? Or talent, at least. Singing, working, running, cycling, reading, speaking to crowds, each a function. Fruit picker. Yard cleaner-upper. Cobweb snagger. Prestidigitator. Cogitator.
Cyclist here. Ride ride ride. Try try try. This week is your grapefruit. Is it right to leave such ripe fruit unpicked? Slice it open, taste the sweetness, I quietly urge. Try.