I watched my self typing to a friend the other day: “we do not celebrate Easter.” And as soon as I hit send I knew something didn’t sit well with me. The more accurate phrase would have been, “we don’t celebrate orthodox Easter.” I have no patience for the money making, finger pointing, hipocritical show the orthodox church puts on every year while enstilling the fear of retribution, rasism, xenofobia, homofobia and any other fobias and isms under the sun. I have no (more) patience for an institution that banned me from entering because I was “unclean,” having just had a child, that deemed me “possessed” because I was suffering from depression and anxiety and doomed to hell because I am gay. But that is a completely different story than the Easter story.
We do celebrate Easter. Every year we stop from the running and we pause in the presence of people we love, we enjoy each other with the trials and tribulations that it entails, we laugh, we fight, we pretend and we are true. We do life together.
This morning, as I was walking my angels on the beach of Navodari I thought about this Saturday, the one before Easter Sunday. It is a “pausing” day. A day we get to think about things that have happened and how it will all come to light. Or not.
The story of Easter, as told in the Christian Bible, speaks to me of deep humanity: we follow people that speak to our souls, just like the apostles in the story followed Jesus, we succomb to the peer pressure and deny our affiliations just like Peter, we blame and want to destroy what we don’t understand, what is different, just like the priests. We call truth and vulnerability crazy and blasphemous for it threatens to destory the image of power we created for ourselves. And at the same time we carry each other’s crosses, we ache deeply for the hurt inflicted on others, we love each other more than we love the world and we rise on each other’s shoulders to take forward the word of the truth.
Easter represents for me the hope, the potential of constantly rising. Having gone through deep depression and anxiety I do believe I got a taste of hell. And there is always a Saturday between darkness and light. A moment when our bodies and minds are so tired from the daily turmoil, so beaten by the waves of a life lived outside of our truths, so deteriorated by blows received from all directions that we can only … stop. Saturday is a “no man’s land” for the soul. We get to decide on Saturday if what follows is a fullstop or a semicolon. And the story of Easter encourages me yearly to remember that first comes the pain and then the rising. That there is no joy without previous shadows and that light should not be expected from riches or fame but from the embrace of a loved one saying “I missed you” when you have only been gone for a few hours, from a meal together with family who until recently could not be in the same room, good food, a sunrise, happy dogs on an empty beach.
So, dear friend, we do celebrate Easter. We celebrate humans’ potential to rise and resurect from whatever hell dragged them down. We celebrate the potential of humanity to be resilient in the face of so so many attacks on their body and soul. And when we symbolically remind each other tomorrow that “Christ has risen”, I will remember all of the amazing humans around me who have gone through immense grief and still went on, rising. Indeed they have.
Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash
“Such is the immutability of truth, the patrons of it make it not greater, the opposers make it not less; as the splendour of the sun is not enlarged by them that bless it, nor eclipsed by them that hate it.” —Thomas Adams. Gorgeous writing, Cata.
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