Today Jesus has riz from the tomb (after having hung on a cross to die slowly). And having rotten tomatoes thrown at him*. Or maybe rotten medlars. I can never quite get over just how grisly this tale is and how early children are told all this truly violent and disturbing stuff. It’s Easter Sunday. I’m not questioning Christianity at this moment. That’s not what’s really on my mind.
We don’t celebrate Easter religiously. We celebrate it as the beginning of spring, the awakening of the dormant earth into wild colorful activity. This morning we all sat in the living room eating questionable (but tasty) Safeway pastries (because I am too busy drying nettles and drinking beer to prepare sweet doughs the night before… plus I don’t know how to make pastries like everyone else) and watched Max open his Easter surprises which don’t come in a basket because we don’t have a surfeit of baskets lying around and we don’t any of us hanker for more baskets. His surprises are arranged in a paper mache oval box I covered with vintage magazine pages. I asked him if he minded not getting the actual basket and he said “Why would I?” and I said “Because that’s what most kids get on Easter.” and he informed me that he likes the way I (uh, the bunny?) present his Easter treats.
While he gorged himself on candy we discussed Easter from our personal family perspective which is a funny combination of Atheist (because we really don’t believe in any god at all) and paganism (enjoying the mysteries and beauty of nature, but still without any deity). We discussed the beginning of time from an evolutionary perspective including the evidence that shows that all mankind was most likely descended from Africans. Black people. Poor Glenn Beck. Personally I don’t think it materially matters what continent or what race we all descended from but I do enjoy the idea that we all come from Africans. We discussed how seeing the world from a scientific/anthropological perspective means that our view of the origins of everything evolve as new information is uncovered. I think that’s magical in its own way. That nature is a puzzle, full of secrets, full of mysteries and just like religion, science can never answer it all. Humans can never know everything in the universe. Faith answers our questions by saying that either “God made it” (end of discussion) or “God doesn’t mean for us to know everything.”
Easter isn’t about zombies or faith or Messiahs for me and my family. Even in my family we have different thoughts about this day. What’s important, I think, is that everyone is allowed to have their own meaning, and worship in their own way. Like all seasonal holidays Easter is celebrated under different names in many different faiths. I think the unifying message through all of them is this:
It’s a damn fine thing to get through the winter, alive, and to see the plants bud out with promise of sustenance to come.
We’re listening to the album Lux Aeterna by Morten Laurisden. It’s so beautiful and peaceful it makes me feel completely at peace. It makes me wish that all religions would stop obsessing over other religions. I wish that everyone may keep their faiths, not die for their faiths which is nothing but a waste, and let others keep their faiths, and not kill for their faiths.
All this fighting, oppression, and killing over religion is deeply ironic. Deeply sad. Deeply wasteful.
I reserve the right to make fun of all beliefs, all faiths, all ideologies, mine included. I reserve the right to question all beliefs, all faiths, all ideologies, mine included. But I also have no desire or ambition to hurt**, to quell, or to destroy what I don’t believe in.
So this morning I am wishing everyone a meaningful beginning to spring whether it be from a Pagan, Muslim, Christian, Atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, or Agnostic perspective.
*Which is obviously an impossibility worse than rising from a tomb after being dead for three days and pushing a giant rock out of your way to get out, because tomatoes are out of season in early spring. I’m pretty sure this is even true of the Mediterranean desert. So it was more likely to have been rotten lemons.
**My questioning, my joking may be offensive to some but it is not meant to be. I can’t control how people take it, I can only know in what spirit I say things.