A delicious rainy spring day here in Fake New Jersey. All the green looks SO green against the drippy skies. The last of the blooming trees (a bit of peach and the breathtaking dogwoods) shine out bright pinks and whites between the green and grey. I confess that, though I don't want TOO many of these rainy days, I hope for a couple more. A couple more days of daytime fires and soupmaking (cream of asparagas instead of butternut squash) and curling up with blankets and books and ginger pear tea while the thrum of rain on the roof provides just enough white noise to drown out the freeway.
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The last thing MM said as he left the car this morning: "This is temporary. This season is temporary." I teared up at the grace in those words. This season has been hard in every way: spiritually, emotionally, physically, professionally, relationally, financially... I catch myself laughing at something or other (like Jimmy Fallon and the Chickeneers- Bok!), and realize that I rarely laugh lately, and I remember laughing a lot, and feeling light-hearted, which is also a rare occurrence these days. And I forget, as usual, why this is so. I just think, "Man, what the heck is wrong with me that I don't act silly and laugh like I used to? Get with the program, lady!"
Then I remember, ohhhh, no, this IS the program. This is a season of pain and fear and grief and work and growth growth GROWTH. Deep healing and transformation. Metamorphosis.
This is the season of the phoenix. And death by fire hurts. Yowza! So its ok to not be so happy clappy right now. That time will come. All will be well. All will be well. And all manner of things will be well.
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In no way is this to mean that my life is bad. My life is awesome. Growth is good. SO good! It's a whole new world, baby! And its rad. But, you know. Not easy.
So, I plug along and look for goodness and do the work and take it all in.
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Our Holy Week and Easter day was good. We didn't really rev up til Maundy Thursday, but that night we read the old story. And I teared up at its poignancy. His tender goodbye supper with his best friends. Resurrection notwithstanding, that was the last time he shared a meal with them like that. The line, "... those that were his, he loved them to the very end." gets me every time.
Good Friday service at the church we've been going to was a mixed bag. They tried. We get the feeling that these sort of liturgical elements are new for this group. Feels a bit clunky every time they try to do outside the Standard Evangelical Procedure. But, hey, they had artists create installations for a sort of modified stations of the cross, and did a few call and response readings, and no one exploded or stormed out and no lightning struck us dead, so good deal. :)
Holy Saturday we died eggs, which was a blast. MM had never died eggs before. We had his three nieces come over, who had also never done this before. Seriously? Are you guys Americans? :) Anyway, we got the little boxes at Target, filled mugs with water and vinegar, dropped the tablets in and went to it. We spent two hours or so chatting and dying, and the girls were so thankful and pleased. We kept with the DIY theme by making our own pizzas for lunch. The girls made their own sauce, kneaded dough, chopped veggies, and built their own pizzas. And again were so thankful and pleased. How cool that something so simple and old skool can still be fun to tweens and teens in this age of electronic everything.
Easter Sunday we got dressed up fancy and went to church. We were so fancy that people didn't recognize us. "We're not new. We're just dressed up." We went to the early service so we could come home to prep for Easter Tacos. I started hosting Easter Tacos a decade ago. I wanted some kind of fun, celebratory, alternate Easter experience for folks who couldn't be/didn't want to be with family. We eat tacos and gobs of dessert and Easter candy, drink beer, play games, and visit. Low key, casual, but still feels like a party. Its a mix of religious and non-religious people, who all enjoy a day of love and joy and friendship together. So, so good.
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Somewhere during all that, I got to introduce MM to Zepharelli's Jesus of Nazareth, which I've long referred to as The Anemic Jesus Movie, cuz wow is that guy skinny and pale. What a cast! Darth Vader as a wiseman. Bilbo Baggins as a scribe. Cukoo-kachoo Mrs Robinson (Anne Bancroft) as Mary Magdalene. Freaking Michael York as a crazy-eyed, spitting, hollering John the Baptist. Awesome.
The movie is slow and kind of cheesy at points and their creative license with the story often takes some of the more powerful moments and makes them less so, but the Peter and Matthew scene is so good, it makes up for a lot of the lame stuff. From the very beginning of the scene, as he firmly tells the disciples that, reputation be damned he WILL go eat with those sinners, "James. The heart of the law is mercy." Good stuff.
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Good stuff in a different way are my books. I finally finished Malory and I'm now re-reading Chretien de Troyes' Arthur tales. So much swooning! These men and their tearful, "I love you man!" declarations. "Bros over hos forever!" Yeesh! I roll my eyes a LOT.
And despite his stubborn crazyness, I was totally on Gawain's side in the final tale. Lancelot was a traitor and without honor, despite his skill at arms. I loved it when he kept challenging Lancelot, and Lance would make these big long speeches about how he and Gwen were innocent and he didn't want to have to kill Gawain and it was all just so terrible because he is such an awesome fighter that Gawain has no chance blah blah blah, and Gawain finally yells, "If thou darest do battle, leave thy babbling, and come off!" :D "Shut up and lets do this."
Though I do find the French ones charming. He inserts all these funny little asides:
"His wife and daughter came out. She was very beautiful. They were working in a workshop. I do not know what they were working on." No? You don't? You are the author. Make something up. We won't know any different.
Or, this one: "All of the people - the blondes and the brunettes and the redheads - thought that..." I guess the gray-haired and the bald don't count as people.
Detailed descriptions of horses, armor, livery, and fight scenes. Not so much with the inner motivations of the characters. And what terrible depictions of women!
Irritating and funny. MM says I should do a blog series on the goofy stuff I'm finding. Maybe. Right now I'm just enjoying it myself.
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Lunchbreak is over. Time to leave of my babbling and get back to it.