THE SEED CATALOG / P0 BOX 3411 / SARASOTA, FL 34230-3411

June, July & August 2004

2001 Seed Catalog Calendar Cover

 Tucked away in the hills of western North Carolina

(in Bakersville) is a perfect, fully furnished vacation

home, available for rental through my friend, Mark

at 727-367-3382. (I’ve been there several times

and heartily recommend it!) -- BJ

 

Phone (323) 466-2157 / Fax (323) 466-2150 / email ihmla@pacbell.net 
5515 Franklin Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90028
 

I first met Corita Kent in 1968. She was a quiet, pixie-like person, one of several prestigious

editorial consultants (along with James Luther Adams, etc.) who met twice yearly with the staff

of COLLOQUY, a new magazine on education in church and society, of which I was the associate

editor, with offices in Boston and Philadelphia. Our friendship was spontaneous and magical from

the very beginning. She was amused by the “joy” in my last name, and I was altogether taken by

her genuineness and simplicity. We conversed easily in and around the corners of this

auspicious gathering of scholars. At one break in the proceedings, as we sat next to each other,

she turned to me and whispered slyly, “Wouldn’t you rather be out in the park having a picnic?”

 

When she was head of the art department at Immaculate Heart College in Hollywood and a

blossoming sensation of late 60’s pop culture, my friend, then known as “Sister Corita” and

still in nun’s attire, admitted to having slipped into movies forbidden by her church, after the

lights were dimmed. A great fan of cinema, she maintained that any film that honestly explores

life is a religious motion picture. She also said that if Jesus were around today, he would

take people to the movies instead of telling them parables.

 

I happened to be in Boston around 1967 when Corita took part in a massive peace celebration

at the Boston Tea Party (formerly a synagogue and at the time a rock emporium, featuring

groups like the original Fleetwood Mac). Harvey Cox was master of ceremonies on that particular

night. Judy Collins and Daniel Berrigan were on the program, as well. With her characteristic

gentleness and integrity, Corita spoke briefly about how a simple flower could awaken a child to

beauty and wonder. Then the walls all around us came alive with projected images from color

slides and movies, blended in perfectly with an eclectic soundtrack that included prayerful voices,

Beatles songs, and such. It was during her multimedia extravaganza that I determined to find a way

to create similar manifestations as new, basically non-verbal environments of secular,

contemporary worship. 

-- Bill Joyner                                                                                

 

At the New York World’s Fair in 1964, the short film PARABLE was shown on a continuous

basis in the Protestant/Orthodox Pavilion. Non-verbal, except for a few words at the beginning,

the screenings were presented without comment. I was immediately drawn to this beautiful,

enigmatic vision of our existence and its possibilities. I am still intrigued every time I see it.

                                                                                                                                           

 An Imagined Refrain of the Clown in PARABLE:

Riding on a mule, I followed from a distance as the great circus parade rolled along with

majestic aplomb, I thesemi-serious, white “august” clown, not officially a part of the show

but deeply involved, nevertheless. When the big top was hoisted, I came around to lend

a hand. A weary man was hauling heavy buckets of water up the hill for the elephants, so I

carried a few loads for him as he looked on in astonishment. I took the place of some people

who were targets of ridicule and abuse. And thus did I comport myself as God’s humble

jester in love’s holy cause.

 

My acts were simple, transparent, and non-injurious. Some people caught on, the kids, the

laborers whose burdens were lifted by levity, the performing puppets let loose from their harness

straps. But some who were pulling the strings became infuriated when their tables were overturned.

Magus the Magician, who ran the whole show, lost it altogether when I diverted attention from his

torturous manipulation of the human marionettes. I loosened the ropes and let those poor souls

down, and that was the beginning of the end for me. I put on one of the harnesses as my bodywas

stretched out in mortal agony before God and Man.

 

The sideshows are closed now, the bright tents deserted. Somewhere in a horse-drawn star trailer

of old-time circus days, the soul of a man named Magus is in the process of transformation! The proud

wagons roll forth as ever in the world’s great parade; and, following along at a distance, unfailingly, the

white clown of God riding on his mule.

 

 

 

Coming Soon!

THE CELESTIAL CIRCUS            

Adventures in Secular Spirituality

© 2004  Bill Joyner

 

 

The Seed Catalog
William T. Joyner, Editor
THE SEED CATALOG is available by mail for an annual suggested donation of $5.00
-- or any expression of interest. I try to do at least 6 issues a year. Thanks for tuning in!
--Bill Joyner / P.O. Box 3411 / Sarasota, FL 34230

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