I didn’t blog for Lent this year. I didn’t really even acknowledge that Lent was happening. Didn’t look for a church to go to on Easter – didn’t really do anything Easter related. In fact, I spent Easter at home, having cancelled all of my work and social plans for that day to rest. I spent Easter in my pajamas, on the couch, not really celebrating at all.
I noticed on Facebook that there were a number of memes surrounding Easter that circulated, mostly dealing with the idea that *gasp* the Christian church STOLE Easter from the Pagans. Anyone who has ever been to the Easter Vigil mass at a Catholic church could hardly question that - it’s one of the most Pagan ceremonies I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve been to Wiccan rituals! They bless the New Fire, they bless the holy water, and HELLO symbolism, they dip the candle into the basin over and over again. The celebration starts in darkness and adds candles, then full light about 30 minutes in. It’s all about rebirth, and spring, and who wouldn’t recognize that these aren’t traditions that were born only 2000 years ago? But I guess maybe a lot of people wouldn’t. Still, I don’t really understand why people are shocked when they find out that what’s old became new again when Christianity was spreading across Europe and the Middle East. I could digress from here into a speculation about why our words for Lent and Easter come from Germanic languages rather than Latinate ones, and how that relates to the roots of the season and its traditions, but I’d imagine no one really wants to read that except for the four other people out there who are as obsessed with words and language as I am.
But I guess the point is that Easter happens whether you celebrate or not. Whether you hide eggs and eat lamb and go to church, or you do nothing at all, you can’t help but experience the season. Suddenly the days are longer, the air is warmer, and a few hardy crocuses are bursting through the earth. You have a craving for asparagus and snap peas and arugula, and you wear skirts even though the evening temperature is much too cold for that, because in the daytime you want to feel that warming breeze as fully as you can. Staying home, resting, that was my Easter cleanse – shedding the winter exhaustion to be ready for the new burst of energy with the spring time. Because whether it’s about Ostara or Christ or just about the Equinox and the physics of living on Earth, your body knows it’s Eastertide, even if you just call it spring.
it’s been a tumultuous lent.
while i did have every intention of blogging every day, i think the fact that i’ve kept a semi-regular practice is still a step in the right direction. perhaps next year i’ll do some reading of a lent related (or related in my mind anyway) text and blog with that as a prompt…it might help with the days when i didn’t know what to say.
since lent began, i’ve had two family illnesses shake up my world, overscheduled myself beyond the point of sanity (ongoing) and, i think, built a stronger relationship via this blog, and gchat, and her blog, with my friend k. i’ve reflected on my own questions, other bloggers’ questions, and gospel readings.
i think it’s been a useful practice for my mind, and i hope to continue.
but the topic of this blog is good friday…
i’ve always been moved by good friday…from the unornamented hymns and stark altar, cleared of linens and flowers, it speaks to the depth of the sacrifice of the day. no matter where i am at in my spiritual journey…it’s moving to think about.
while i love the hand washing and eucharist centered ritual of holy thursday, and the pagan-inspired, elemental celebration of the easter vigil, good friday also holds its own special place.
“freedom can be found, laden down, under the weight of the wood…”
Getting “balanced” is not the remedy to stress. Passion is.
– white hot truth
I tell myself that I need balance…but I’m wrong…what I need is time to explore all of the unbalanced curiosities that pull my interest in all directions…
What would you do if you weren’t scared?
The answer is simple. AUDITION! I miss the stage. Yes I want to be directing, yes, I want to be life coaching, but I miss performing more than everything else combined!
i cried when my kids did their last show yesterday, more than usual. and i hope that they learn the lesson that they were singing…
If you believe
Within your heart you’ll know
That no one can change
The path that you must go
Believe what you feel
And know you’re right, because
The time will come around
When you say it’s yours
if you’ve never experienced the final week of a production (tech week, hell week, whatever name you want to give it) you can’t possibly know the feeling. you begin the week in a place where nothing is done, nothing is ready and everything is on the brink of getting somewhere but not there yet. and you end the week with applause and tears and shivers of wonderfulness…
i guess maybe it’s like a short version of the anticipation of advent or lent…but condensed and amplified…and extra special when it’s with children!
i saw this on my friend k’s blog and couldn’t resist. in fact, hers made me cry, so i knew it was something i needed to do.
so here are the sacred spaces i’ve encountered in my life:
1. the hannan house kitchen – i can’t count the number of hours spent sitting on the floor or the kitchen counter or the washing machine and being my most authentic self with the wonderful women and men i was lucky enough to live with for two years, and the friends and family they brought in and out of the house with them
2. the living room of a big victorian house – like k, when i come to this place, i can be as authentic and safe as anyplace i’ve ever been, maybe more…i’ve watched people discover their voices here, i’ve found stories that i didn’t know i could tell here, and every time i go back, i find someone else that i can’t imagine not meeting, and hear words that i needed desperately to hear
3. the retreat house of my first journey retreat – i discovered so much in those 3 and a half days…things i’m still unfolding 15 years later…and the first time you encounter an unrestricted, hugs encouraged sign of peace in a room full of high school students just realizing who they are and who they can be is amazing…not to mention uninhibited full voice songs of unrestricted joy…i rejoiced when they said to me, let us GO unto the house of the Lord…
4. the field behind the retreat house of my confirmation retreat – it sounds crazy, but you can’t imagine how beautiful a field full of wild turkeys is early in the morning…and somehow phenomenally inspiring
there are other places that have had times of sacredness…the seders i’ve attended, the times i’ve been so lost in a song that it feels like the most overwhelming place of peace, the right gathering of people, at the right time and place can build an energy like no other…and i really believe that at those times, that feeling is God…
it’s weird…i didn’t feel like i was stressed or worried about my mom…i mean, i knew i was worried, but i didn’t FEEL worried…until i realized tonight at the end of rehearsal how much i wanted to be home by the phone and how exhausted i was…guess i’m feeling it differently…it’s not on the surface…but boy is it there…
Where do you bloom?
This was the question today on whenigrowupcoach.com. I think it’s a good one. And I think it has multiple answers.
- on the front porch with a good book and a glass of ice water, and a journal
- curled up in bed on a rainy day
- sitting in the patch of sunlight on the hardwood floor in an empty or really clean room
- driving with my girl and the radio and a retreat ahead of us or just behind us
- walking in the rain
- walking on a perfect sunny day
inspiration can be anywhere…