Friday Forum: Learning to See the Genesis
I have gotten pulled into a conversation on Twitter over the last several days that leaves me thinking and contemplating deep within myself, which is always a scary place to be. The questions center around the when a marriage is considered a marriage.
As I’m scarcely fit to talk about marriage, I thought I would take a different question to see if there is a parallel to our human realization of things. My question is “When is corn considered corn?”
Like most people living in the United States, I did not grow up immediately on a farm. “Corn” as I was introduced to it was little yellow kernels sitting on my plate that took a minute to unthaw in the microwave. Yes, I had an absolutely glamorous introduction to corn.
But then I branched to corn-on-the-cob, which helped make the plant connection. Seeing the ears in the store, I could appreciate that corn grew as the edible part of the plant. The husks wrap up the argument (sorry for the really bad pun). However, as you get to know more about your corn, the ear we associate with sweet corn is actually the inner kernel. You can see that additional leaves surround the ear in this footage of harvesting corn.
Yet, we still have not reached the beginning of corn. I lived in a farm community where they planted rows upon rows of corn. To me, it was a “corn field.” To them, it was “corn.” I met folks who worked in the seed corn industry. To me, they were “seeds.” To them, it was “corn.” Additionally, it wasn’t so much of a differentiation because they worked across multiple crops. They saw what they had and envisioned the potential as fruit, or in this case, vegetable.
So, when is corn corn? I think it is a question of connection, awareness and commitment. Corn became corn to me when I could reasonably interact with it. Corn became corn to the farmers much earlier as they had a greater level of awareness, connection and commitment.
I think you can make a similar argument about when marriage is considered marriage. The processes exist in time and unfold through many discreet events and choices. So much of what debates about marriage center upon is the question of “What is the fruit?” What is the relationship between children, commitment, intention, intimacy, love, marriage, romance and sex? (I purposefully chose to assemble that list in alphabetical order.)