Tag: Easter

Three Great Days In a Row

I have low expectations for today.  First of all, I have a ton of crap I have to get done and all of it involves me cleaning my desk up in order to unearth the proper paperwork.  This will require some organizing.  I’m good at organizing so normally this wouldn’t stretch my skills or make my head hurt (much), but last night I woke up around 1am and until around 3:30am I didn’t sleep.  I almost gave up and got out of bed to write, or something, but I didn’t have a project to work on.  I mean, what with this crazy writer’s block that’s kicking my ass.  So I’m not in prime shape.  After getting Max off to school I planned on crawling back into bed to get some quiet rest with my people and their noises gone.   But when I crawled back into bed not even a single cell of my body was sleepy.  Wide fucking awake.  Every single cell.  Not just awake, but AWAKE.

It all sounds dire, doesn’t it?  But it’s not.  (Except for the crazy amount of taxes we get to pay, that’s still dire)  I just had three great days in a row.  That used to happen fairly often in my life.  When you have mental illness you come to accept that a certain number of days of the week will be overshadowed by some kind of gripping dread or hours blackened by the tar pit of depression.  But in a well managed mentally ill life you learn to expect more of those normal days in which good and bad live in harmony with each other.  I miss that a lot.  So when I get more than one good day in a row it’s something worth noting, celebrating, enjoying, and sharing.


There was cheese and beer and avocados in the house all at the same time!  I got to do a special project at work involving making lists – I LOVE making lists!!  Then I got to spend some time brainstorming for a new writing project I’m doing with my friend Emma.

Some of you saw it on Facebook already so I feel I can tell you this much: the other day I was thinking about how cool it would be to write a post apocalyptic cookbook – an irreverent book with real recipes for disastrous times.  I mentioned that I would obviously need a partner to write this book with because meat must be included and I had my eye set on two possible people.  But really only one, because the other one has no actual writing ambition even though she’s got mad roadkill eating skills.  (Seriously).  So I really only had my friend Emma in mind because she’s been a food writer for a few years and went to culinary school and her first book will soon be headed to the printers.  I was trying to imagine how I could entice her into doing this project with me when she told me she hoped she was one of the writers I had in mind and wanted IN!

So brainstorming for a couple of hours was awesome.  When you’re experiencing writer’s block I think sometimes the thing to do is start a whole new writing project!  Something really different from what you are working on that’s got your brain all seized up.  It’s like pumping fresh blood into the imagination.  With non-fiction you don’t write the whole book before you approach agents, you write a detailed proposal.  Essentially you plan out all your chapters and content and write out one or two sample chapters.  My head is full of ideas and excitement.

I also took a two mile walk with my dog in the gorgeous weather.


I played with “food”.  (See picture above)  I’m working on developing a new series on Stitch and Boots revolving around over the top ridiculous food trends.  I want to combine different trends together to make truly repulsive yet compelling combinations.  It’s meant to be fun, not real.  For me it’s like making mud pies, only the results are less edible.  Playing with food like this reminds me of my first experiments in the kitchen when I was a kid.  Most of my child hood memories are not light and fun to revisit – but this is.  I did make the famous mud pies of nostalgic youth – I made elaborate ones.  I also once made a doll out of mud.  That was kind of weird.  But eventually I got into the kitchen and tried out various combinations of flour and peanut butter and jam and sometimes sugar and water.  Almost always inedible but always so much fun!  That’s what Saturday was like.  Play time.


Easter.  Giant basket of bad-ass tooth rotting gut bloating sinister processed weird candy for the kid.  No god for us on Easter.  We talked about the meaning of Easter for the non-religious being similar to the meaning Christians attach to it, but less specific, more metaphoric, a little less creepy (no dead people rising from tombs).*  For us it’s all about the renewal of life in nature that spring brings.  The buds breaking on the trees, the dormant perennials busting out of the earth.  Animals giving birth to young.  Insects beginning a cycle of pollination and humans planning and planting their early spring gardens.  Plus candy.  Candy, in case you’re skeptical of its place in Easter celebrations, represents the ridiculous abundance of the earth.

I wanted to get outside.  It was warm and sunny and I suppose I was riding on the high of having had two really good days preceding it.  I had to work so I worked for a few hours and plotted how I would get my son outside.  He now dislikes the beach and our previous favorite forest spot.  I told him I wanted to celebrate Easter with my family by going out into nature for a little walk or something.  He says “But I’ve already gone somewhere this weekend.”   Meaning “I’ve left the house once in three days, isn’t that enough for you?!”.  So speaketh my budding agoraphobe.  I used the tactic that nearly always works with him.  I told him he was going to get out in nature, he didn’t get to opt out, but he gets to choose where.  I always include outings of various distance and effort.  If he wants to choose a quick walk around the nearest park, that’s okay, it’s outside, it’s walking, and we get to spend time together.  He chose to go to Grand Island for a wee walk.

It was uncomfortably warm for us, actually.  A bit muggy.  Blech!  But the drive was enjoyable.  Our conversation revolved exclusively around how to survive a zombie apocalypse.  My kid is an expert on this.  Then we walked the muddy trail along the river looking at moss, sticks, sticks with moss, spiders, bumble bees, and poplar trees.  We could smell the soapy perfume of the poplars too – balm of Gilead.  I showed Max and Philip the source of the smell, something my friend Nicole taught me.  I also showed Max what plantain looks like, suggesting that if you were on the run from zombies you might want to keep your eye out for this plant as it is common and a great medicinal.  He asked why we don’t cut some and dry it to keep it on hand (smart kid) and I said I do!  I have some at home.

I found nettles.  Most of them were quite muddy so I didn’t cut as much as I’d like but I can go back another time.  I got a bag full of it and will cook with it, probably today.  That is a joy to me.  Foraging for greens, hanging out with my guys, and hearing the quiet.  But without ticks.  We saw two garter snakes and then, on our way out of the park, we saw a tall pole with an eagle’s nest on it that actually had an eagle in it!  He had a white head and the shape of him makes us think he was a bald eagle.  That was the highlight of the whole day.  I see lots of hawks around but rarely see eagles.

A perfect three days.  So I fully expect today to be less than stellar.  No one can expect more than three great days in a row.  But at least I can think about the good one while sorting my papers.

I wish upon all of you three great days too!

*I am perfectly aware that some Christians view Jesus’ act of rising from the dead as being metaphorical too.  But many believe it literally.  In my experience of life it is best that dead things remain dead and should never rise from their graves, especially not after three days.  I don’t call it a miracle when something rises from the tomb so much as I call it a great time to grab your shot gun and load it with a silver bullet, just to cover your bases, because you have most likely landed right in the middle of a Buffy episode.

Lux Aeterna: celebrating spring on Easter Sunday

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.