Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:

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)

You might also enjoy

Monk in the World Guest Post: Sharon Clymer Landis

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to our Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Sharon Clymer Landis’s reflection on the wisdom and love of a foster dog. I’m fostering a dog named Ladybug. She was caught

Read More »

Monk in the World Guest Post: Will Boesl

I am delighted to share am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series. Read on for Will Boesl’s reflection Nonduality and Nonbinary. For as long as I can remember, I have been told that I am not

Read More »

6 Responses

  1. Easter Blessings to you, giver of life and wisdom in word and image. Today your phrase “The Jesus of boundary-breakers” speaks to me and I’m grateful your offering!

  2. your words speak to my heart. “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”, as i sit with tears of gratitude for friends and souls around the world who share their struggles and beauty with me. wishing you the most blessed of days, my friend.

  3. Thanks Tess, your post and Rachelle’s were truly the impetus that got me writing this morning. I was only planning on posting the poems. Yes, the moon as well is a witness to this great rise and fall. Glad to be connected under the mist! :-)

    Thank you Deb, sounds like a marvelous place to be. :-)

  4. Beautiful, Christine. I love the darling photo…. and thanks for posting Rachelle’s blog. I am content today to be present to this beautiful energy of rebirth, renewal and transformation. Grateful for all that is bursting forth.

  5. What a lovely, thoughtful post as ever Christine, and thanks for linking to mine. You’re right, the resurrection story does appear in every moment and in every cycle. I’m so grateful every time the heavens reach the part in their dance when the full moon swings into view. And I’m feeling close to you today as we have that grey and drizzly sky in my part of England at the moment. Hugs x