I have not been an active church goer in a long time, so I have not relied on the consistency or traditions of a faith practice in recent years, but this past Easter was hard. Culturally I am still very Catholic and my values track back to the community and the traditions that raised me. Metaphors and memories of the Catholic faith have been soothing to me – breaking bread together, sharing community, feeding the hungry, looking out for our neighbors, and a belief in something beyond our human condition and comprehension has sustained me. Easter and the promise of new life was hard to hold this year and since then I have felt far more aware of the darkness ahead of us rather than light. It’s almost as if there is something happening in the world to distract and depress my optimism. Weird.
If the resurrection from the dead actually happened, that is miraculous event. Ascending into heaven so soon thereafter would seem to be a bit of a letdown, especially for his mommy. My son’s dead. Wait, he’s back, no wait again, he floated away. It’s kind of a shit miracle, if you ask me, and it works to undermine his underlying message – we are here to create change, be kind to one another, share resources to be your neighbor’s keeper and break bread in the company of strangers, who will quickly become your friends. It’s like he rose from the dead just to offer up a dramatic mic drop, “Peace be with you, Jesse out.” Easter is supposed to be a holiday of hope, and this Easter weekend was just weird. It sucked.
So… If the Easter miracle is just about Jesus’ resurrection, then (for me) it comes up short. Luckily, it (like most Spring religious holidays) represents more. We get new life, we get warmer days, we get birds returning, and in California, we get poppies. Post crucifixion (that part probably sucked) – he had the easy part. “I’M BACK! Now you kids start a cult.” His family and friends had the hard part – they needed to pick up the broken pieces of a moment and a movement and make something happen with what they had left. Shattered remnants became a foundation. It is like cultivating yeast from flour and water and the air around you, hoping for something more, you start with what you have on hand. Welcome to Coronaville, that seems to be what we are all doing now. We are creating a new normal as returning to what was seems implausible. As for me, it is taking a lot of work to get my yeast to rise. I’m still not sure IF I will get the right balance of ingredients to get it right – time, patience, science and the natural elements are working on timelines I find frustrating. I’m exhausted.
In the early part of my life clinging to beliefs handed to me or those that made me feel certain, guided and secured against the unknown played a huge role. Today, I find the unknown a bit more comforting. It is more of a unifying force. We all have our insecurities and uncertainties and in those unknowns we are more commonly aligned. The anxiety of these times has been a great equalizer. I hold no grudge against anyone’s formal beliefs or those who find comfort in following a particular religious path. In fact, I prefer people who believe in something of a greater good, a higher purpose or a guiding God- it’s just those that follow a path like a prescription, abdicating any personal accountability to the circumstances around them that scare me. “It’s God’s will” can sometimes help people justify crappy behaviors, theirs and those of others. I have also seen it mute a person’s drive to look for a change. Change in out world was needed , even if it is being forced upon us all.
In these strange times, I think we are all called to question and action. We all have seeds to plant and a new normal to grow. We are all cultivating a starter. If we are broken and crucified by corona, what new life will we resurrect? What is your Spring, your Easter miracle, your resurrection? What calm can we create out of chaos? Our yeast will rise. But what bread will we make and with whom will we share it? Me? I’m ready for a feast, but for now I’ll stick to my face mask and hand sanitizer, being social and distance and pray for the day we have less physical separations. I’m going to choose to believe in something better than this shit sandwich we are all eating now.
And, I’ll continue to TRY to bake bread- and hope that it too shall rise again. It would be nothing short of a fucking miracle.
Uncle KooKoo out!