Thursday, February 5, 2009


I haven’t shared much in “my profile” here. I find I have a deeply rooted resistance to filling in lists in boxes. For one thing, I don't always remember what would go in the boxes if I were totally willing to fill them in. But sometimes, quiet times, it's as if I feel unseen hands on my shoulders turning me to take in a view I might have missed as I remember the words, or the impact of the words, of a friend I met only through their writing. So this morning I have entered a favorite book in my profile because this morning I remembered Victor Frankl.
It's been many years since I read him. In Man's Search For Meaning he wrote: "We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

Someone asked me why I chose to call my web log “Bread on the Water." It’s a phrase from the 11th chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes. “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.” Perhaps bread on the water calls up an image of feeding ducks or soggy loaves, but as real as bread and water are , they are also symbolic. "Cast your bread upon the water," I don’t know if I know what it “means” in the context of Solomon’s purpose, but I hear in it an openness: to do, to risk, to give, to care, to trust. Even the word cast is a power of imagery. I see lines cast in rivers to draw forth fish, sowers casting seeds across the fields of the world.

In San Francisco 1960s bread was often slang for money, as in “you got any bread man?” Bread, Money, Energy…cast your bread upon the waters. I think that’s what a blog is all about, a little giving into the unknown, to unknown others.
That’s quite an image that Frankl shares…men giving away their last piece of bread. I’ve never done that, but I have been given a lot. I've received a lot: a lot of bread, a lot of love, a lot …. so I hope to share a little here. As my banner says, I'm not sure what the topics or direction of this blog will be from week to week, but I’m here to cast a little bread on the water.

1 comment:

Katie (Nature ID) said...

I did wonder where you got your title. I suspected it was scripture, but I didn't know its meaning until now. What goes around, comes around. It reminds me of It's a Wonderful Life.