Saturday, May 2, 2015

Tables - dining tables, family tables and round tables

Our prompt about tables brought out some interesting comments. Some you can read on the blog and others were emailed to me.

I was reminded that William Everett, poet, writer and blogger, makes very special tables.Visit his website to read his poetry and see photos of the various tables he makes for use in worship service. His artist wife, Sylvia, creates pieces used for worship as well.

Bill developed a ministry called the Roundtable Project.  

On his blog, he says, "The Roundtable Project emerged out of my long interest in the relation of ethics and worship....Beginning with the creation of round tables as the central focal point for worship, it now embraces roundtable worship forms and the cultivation of circle conversation groups to help people deal with difficult issues."

It seems that round tables help us best reconcile our differences. Perhaps government leaders should sit at a round table instead of long rectangular tables when they pursue common goals.  

William Everett says of the Communion Tables he builds:
"The roundtable links the experience of communion to the work of reconciliation in our world. "

"The roundtable symbolizes in our time the way in which people seek to reconcile their differences through mutual counsel. It also symbolizes a place of nurture where we can all share in the bounty of God's earth."

Read more here. 

Family Tables - round, oblong, rectangular or square    

When we moved to North Carolina from our home in south Georgia, I sold the large dining room table that was in this house. I had always wanted a round table for Barry and me. We found it in Atlanta -- a  round oak table with two leaves to make it oblong if we needed more room. It is the perfect size for two or four people to sit or we can seat six comfortably. My chairs were special-ordered. They are upholstered with casters. So comfortable. My friends often tell me how much they like my chairs because the casters make it easier to push away from the table and the arms on each chair are helpful for rising.

My family, after all us brothers and sisters were older, sat around the table, sometimes for hours, after a meal. (Upholstered chairs would have been appreciated.) Our most memorable conversations took place there. Perhaps that is why my four brothers and my father could work together for decades. They reconciled any differences while seated together around that table. On holidays, before my parents and brothers died, the leaves expanded the surface to hold places for 10 or twelve of us.  A kids' table was set in another room.

When I was growing up our entire family of nine sat down to supper every night. We called our mid-day meal dinner. It was the large meal of the day. I can still see my sun-browned father at the head of the table. Mother sat on his right. Baby Gay occupied the well-worn high chair between Mother and Daddy and I sat on Mother's right side. My brothers filled in around the table with Ray, the oldest brother, next to Daddy.

After the meal my father enthralled us with stories from his childhood and his baseball playing days. He enjoyed retelling the tales as much as we loved hearing them.

My four brothers inherited the storytelling gene. When they grew up, they regaled us with laughter at their mischievous antics and pranks on friends, even on their wives. Max, my only living brother, is still a great storyteller.
A farm table similar to the one we had when I was a child.

Tables, like the one Pat Davis mentions in comments in the last post, are platforms for many tales we can dredge up in our memories. .

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