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May 06, 2009

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John Kasaian

Mass production of art, bread and cheese is really an interesting subject.Is the home made version "better?" I think in one sense it most definately is, but in another sense, not so much.
For example, I have a pretty mass produced copy of the statue "Flight To Egypt."
While the original artist"s hands never touched my copy, the statue is in my mind very powerful. I love it. I can say that my life is enriched by having this image in my home (well it beats the alternative of not having it in my home) I goes without saying that I couldn't afford the original.
I also have a very primitive hand made crucifix I bought at a flea market. The artist who carved it portrayed the agony of Christ on the cross more profoundly in my eyes than any of my other bloody crucifixs' It is an original work of art and each gouge in the mesquite is of the artist's hand---almost like "energy" if that isn't too overworked a term.
My point being is that both examples have, to me, great artistic value and well as spiritual significance. Niether piece has much monetary value I'm afraid but that's OK with me. If they did I probably wouldn't be able to afford them so they wouldn't be in my home providing the unique joy that being exposed to beautiful things add to life.

Same with bread. When I was a bachelor, the girl who would one day be my bride made me a loaf of home made banana nut bread. It had been years since anyone had made me bread and honestly it brought a tears to my eyes (OK call me a whimp) Did it taste any better than the junk that comes wrapped in cellophane at the convenience store? Heck yes, but there was something even more flavorful---it was the labor of love.
True home cooking (and baking) has that flavor. Is "made from scratch" better than what comes out of a box? I think yes in most cases, but out of the box will suffice (except for mashed potatos)if that is the only option open. Effort matters.

Not being in the possession of a cow I can't comment on hmoe made cheese, other than that the cheese that comes from a small producer always bests the massed produced cheese-oid stuff when it comes to flacvor. Always.

The Masked Chicken

Dear John Kasaian,

Good points. Art, in some sense, is always meant to be consumed, either by the body or the soul or both.

Any art, this side of the grave, is not eternal, but only bears a relationship to the eternal. All art will perish. The only true memorial of art is the effects it leaves on our souls. The bread you ate only lasted a few moments, but the effect on your soul (via your future wife) will last for eternity.

Massed produced bread can be artistic in at least two sense: as an expression of the artist touching the eternal truths (homemade bread and wine recalls the Eucharist) or as something calling us to give thanks for a gift, which also recalls the Eucharist. In this sense, even mass produced bread can be a work of art to a starving man, even though homemade bread adds the dimension of intimacy.

In every way, proper art relates back to the Eucharist in some fashion.

The Chicken

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