dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

gardening and Catholic Worker

Yesterday we worked in the garden.  We sheet mulched half of bed four, which entailed putting down cardboard and emptying the done compost bins onto it and putting down a large bag of soil.  We broke up some mushroom compost that had been just sitting there for a long time and distributed it as mulch in bed four and bed six.  Well, that doesn't sound like a lot of work, but it was great to get it done.

I think it's time to get rid of the bushel basket I've had on the landing for a long time.  It was really windy the other day and blew onto the front lawn.  It's not doing anyone any good, though I like it.  "The bushel basket on your landing belongs to the poor," is this morning's version of, "The coat in your closet belongs to the poor," which is not quite the same thing.

Yesterday Ming and I were talking about this bit from Don't Call Me a Saint, a movie about Dorothy Day that we watched two nights ago, and I loved it.  I love Dorothy Day and will never be Catholic but may be a Catholic Worker. 

There was this bit where a man was telling this story.  Here's the story.  A man in the soup line was telling him how he killed the ice man, who was after his wife.  I think he killed him with an ax, or his own icepick or something?  The speaker was like, "This is the kind of person we helped at the Catholic Worker house."

So Ming and I were talking about it, and would we be shocked to hear that story, and how would we react?  We said we'd react with a straight face.  It's horrible, but anyone can do that sort of thing, whether poor or not.  Violence is everywhere.  And if it was a fact of his life, it was over and done with.  I said something about my feelings about prison notwithstanding, if he'd done his time, it was over with.  And even if he'd done his time not in prison, but just thinking about it, maybe he'd done his time.

It depends on how he said it too, if he was bragging and if it seemed like he would do it again.  I guess if he seemed to be a killer still, I would stay away from him.  But most everyone has horrible things in their past.

A soup line is an interesting place.  When Ming and I serve with Las Vegas Catholic Worker, people bring their little kids sometimes.  I have encountered rudeness but never violence.  I have had a guy mad at me for not giving him enough food in his bowls.  He thought my servings were too small.  If you get the bowls too full, they can burn their thumbs.


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