The Rise & Fall of Everything

I awoke this morning and took Abbess Petunia for her walk.  The sky is grey and drizzly here in Seattle, just the kind of weather I love when I have a lot of writing to do.  Checking into my favorite blogs I found a couple of very thoughtful posts on Easter that wrestle with the challenging side of believing in the resurrection:

Tess at Anchors and Masts and my favorite “malcontent” Rachelle at her BlogHer column.

I also wrestle with the historical, literal reality of resurrection.  The Jesus of boundary-breakers is the one who speaks most profoundly to me rather than the Savior.  More often than not, whether the Gospel account of the resurrection actually happened as it did matters little to me.  Those words might either shock you or have you nodding your head, depending where you are on the theological spectrum.  As Rachelle indicates, there are ways to claim the power of the story as meaning-bearing myth that can be life-giving.  Wherever you are, I welcome the version of the story that breathes life into your spirit. 

At the same time, I must honor that the resurrection story is one that appears in every moment, as does the suffering and death story — since the beginning of time, not just for 2000 years.  I see it in the annual movement from summer to fall and then from winter into spring again.  The world sings out this reality with each fluttering leaf, with each rising shoot.  I witness it in the daily movement from sunrise to sunset.  Part of why I love the monastic tradition of praying the hours is its presence each day to the rise and fall of everything.  Even in each breath, I inhale life, and then I exhale the anticipation of my very last out-breath that will one day come.  Each time I breathe in again is a cause for celebration. 

Then, of course, there are the stories of people who have become transformed in the face of terrible suffering.  And there are those who have been broken in two and come undone.   There are my own tremendous griefs, some of which have broken me, which I somehow manage to carry the weight of right alongside the many reasons to hope that sorrow is not the final word.  Poetry tells me this, as do art and music.  They help me to bear the weight of doubt and release me from having to figure it out intellectually as I am inclined to try and do.  I can enter into the experience and know beauty with my bones.

And so the sky pours out its tears this morning, while also washing the world clean and saturating the earth with a drink of living water.  Blossoms are bursting forth from branches.  Even in this springtime resurrection of the world, the petals are also beginning to wilt and fall.  And it is beautiful.  It is so very good.

(*Photo: Christine with her Easter basket at about age 2)


** Here are two poems I posted for Easter earlier that say similar things in far fewer words **

** Come back tomorrow for our next Poetry Party! **

(and for all of the poets reading, Beth at Virtual Tea House is inviting some input on finding more ways to nurture poetic expression)

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