Sunday, July 26, 2009

Clay: Appendix 8: The Sacramentality of Writing

God formed man of the clay of the ground and then breathed into him the breath of life. The clay of the ground as material and the breathing in of the breath of life: these have been the focus of most concern in our literature and speculation. And the question of what the breath of life may be has been recurrent. But the question of the forming, the verb forming, hasn't raised our attention in the right way. And yet everyone knows--the Sumerians and Babylonians knew--that the pressing of marks into the clay was the crucial part of this forming. It was the pressing of marks, the right marks, that gave the clay the dignity needed for its reception of the breath of life.

The clay as result of this writing is clay that may receive the breath of life if only this breath be given it.

It is in this sense originally that writing is a sacrament.

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