Tuesday, April 14, 2009


by way of introduction, i am christina thomas......once "tina thomas tickleheimer, now sometimes "lydia the tattooed lady," more often "the Q," always "the bid."

i am a book conservator and bookbinder, a craft which the famous bookbinder Edgar Mansfield describes as "the most unforgiving craft there is on the face of this bloody earth!"

he is right!

but thanks to those unforgiving demands, i have gained some vital insight into hard work, perspective, patience, and learning processes.

after two refreshing, whirlwindy years in boston, i live in utah once again and work as the book repair assistant in the byu library. i am grateful for and content in my job, but not always happy. in an ideal world i would also be a dancer, film historian, baker, and horticulturist. and everything in between, including parent.

i'm excited to be invited as a contributor and listener here and excited to get to know the rest of you folks. i count the 13th article as a close friend and beautiful, billowing statement of belief.

speaking of things virtuous, lovely, of good report and praiseworthy.......and of things silly, this past weekend i saw the bollywood movie Om Shanti Om for the first time. on the surface, this movie was sheer delight, a spectacularly silly spectacle, and thoroughly entertaining all the way through its 164 minutes.

nearly every 10 minutes or so the film erupts into song and dance. during one especially exteeeeeeennnnnded dance, my mind drifted a bit and i began thinking about the influence of western popular culture in these movies. sometimes we or others decry our western infiltration and the way it “corrupts” indigenous culture and changes it, rendering it “less authentic”.

but then i considered all the ways many of our cultures throughout the world are interacting with and influencing each other and melding, in large part because of increased mobility and communication technologies. we are all borrowing and lending and trading bits of culture. certainly it’s unfortunate when people demean themselves or their culture in the name of some of other culture being superior. but is the way we are blending such a bad thing?

and then, since the dance number was still going strong, i continued thinking.

naturally my thoughts turned to......gathering. as in the gathering of israel. the gathering of saints into the kingdom of god. we have, over the ages, dispersed and scattered ourselves, developed into unique and fantastically rich and diverse cultures.....

...kind of like pangea and its gradual dispersal
into the land masses we know and love.

i thought of how we are gradually re-gathering ourselves and each other back to the genuine community of God's kingdom, where we will be not a homogeneous, unified culture, but one made up of all the varieties of goodness, artistry, experiences, knowledge, and light of all these individual cultures. so instead of looking on disparagingly at the blending of american and indian culture, i saw this merging--this developing "friendship" between peoples and cultures--and i liked it. tremendously. i love this idea! and i loved Om Shanti Om for inspiring the thought. it sounds a bit schmaltzy to say, but i’m excited about our uniting world. of what we are becoming. it feels epic and unimaginable. deserving of fabulous and grandiose song and dance.

and is it too far fetched to suggest that the physical earth's processes and movements mirror those of its inhabitants? over millions of years, the once united land masses divided and diversified themselves, evolved and expanded. eventually the land masses will spread so far they might just reconvene. just like the children of israel. maybe? it is already beginning, and in the name of this gathering i celebrate the cross-pollination of cultures and the good that others bring and the good that we add. i celebrate the scattering for the incomprehensible richness, depth, and beauty its experience will add to a regathered kingdom of God's children.

1 comment:

  1. q! you are INDEED a kindred spirit, you hit on my favoritest of all favorite topics! i have so much to say in response, but no time right now! it may take a whole separate post. thanks for posting, and thanks for your wonderful thoughts and words!