Vision: The Origin of Cream Cheese by Howard Hanger

May 26, 2016 |

So where did it all come from?  All the stuff and nonsense we deal with every day?  Where did it all begin?  Not just the moon and stars and oceans and humans.  That’s the big stuff. We hear about that all the time. Creationism, evolution, intelligent design, chaos theory, blah, blah, blah, blah… Where did it come from? It’s that kind of question which keeps philosophers and theologians all googly-moogly inside.

We’re talking here about everyday-in-your-face stuff: Where did dimples come from, for example?  Or athlete’s foot?  Where did shitaki mushrooms come from and who was the first genius to sauté them in oil and garlic?  Where do dreams come from?  Or forgiveness?  Who first thought that neckties and pantyhose were a good idea?  From whence did the notion arise that having the biggest-screen TV on the block was more important than having some good books to read.

Origin of the Species?  Sure, that’s fine for some to explore.  But what about the origin of kiwi’s?  Or B-B’s?  Or the Fiji’s?

Well, we can’t answer all of life’s origin conundrums here in this little rag.  But we can address the source of some very important elements in the life of JUBILEE! Community.

In our Celebration area, for example, there is a beautifully hand-carved altar and globe.  These objects form the very heart of every ritual we celebrate with our community.  We have celebrated hundreds of baptisms and deaths, dozens of Passovers and Christmases, weddings, Thanksgivings, Mothers’ and Fathers’ Days. We’ve celebrated joy, sorrow, promise and pain.  Over the years, thousands of people have wept and worshiped, sung and danced around that globe and altar.  That orb and table have inevitably been permeated with lots of holy juju.

There is also a graceful podium and a lithe music stand there in the Celebration area.  Countless poems, stories and songs have been framed and held by those exquisite pieces.

And, the good news is, we know where they came from: the globe, the altar, the podium, the music stand.  No, not WalMart.  Or Home Depot.  Definitely not from China. We didn’t pick ‘em up on EBay or Pier One.  They weren’t discovered at a yard sale in Woodfin.  In fact, you’ll never see these pieces anywhere except at JUBILEE!  Like everything at JUBILEE!, they’re one-of-a-kind.

These pieces  – altar, podium, globe and music stand were commissioned and given to JUBILEE! by one of the most astute and generous, wise and compassionate – not to mention wild and wacky women – you’ll ever meet.  Her name is Helene Hill.  If JUBILEE! had saints, she’d be right up there in marble. If JUBILEE! had a convent, she’d be Mother Superior.  If JUBILEE! had an enclave of shaman and wisdom keepers, she’d be Chief Medicine Woman.

Helene spent much of her life as a community organizer in Nicaragua through the United Methodist Church.  Yes, she was a life-long Methodist; but she’s still a good person.  She retired in Asheville in the mid-90’s and has been part of the JUBILEE! Community since she landed.  Helene knows a brilliant wood sculptor in South Carolina named Ken Christy.  She commissioned him to design and build that which would delight a community which celebrates creation spirituality.

Helene now lives at the Brooks-Howell Home just off Merrimon.  She turned 96 years old in March. She may be our oldest living Jubilant. Her wit is scintillating and her wisdom gushes like a river in springtime.  Her gifts to JUBILEE! of the globe, altar, podium and music stand are indicative of her other gifts to the earth: gifts of grace and beauty, insight and knowledge – gifts that ignite the soul and incite the body to dance.

Thank you, Helene!!!

(And cream cheese, by the way, originated in France.  Of course.)