The children’s pastor made his point about who was serious or not when it came to serving God. He could have closed the service, and I would have been out of time to change my mind and stand before my peers as one who loved God, so I don’t know what compelled him to do what he did next. Maybe he was tired of working with kids.
But the dark events of that afternoon have remained with me and have prompted a question that I have often wrestled with, fruitfully, I think, but never to a clear decision: Lacking a proper foundation in kickball, what sort of culture, if any at all, could flourish in a Newton, Massachusetts?
Wendell Berry’s new story is actually about two great interruptions: the first forms the occasion for Billy’s tale, and the second is how, as the title has it, the tale “ceased to be told.”
My grandma didn’t put up a Christmas tree. She didn’t bake pies. And she didn’t make fudge. Her kitchen was silent. I believe it was her way of mourning, not just the loss of her husband to the grave, but the loss of her children to schedules that kept them so busy they had no time for visiting and storytelling.