Friday, April 22, 2011

Give it up

Good Friday dawned rather gray and gloomy in Washington DC, which seems absolutely perfect considering the fact that for Christians, this is the day their messiah left his earthly form by way of a slow, brutal, painful death. When the Christians I know talk about their faith, they always assure me it's the rising of Christ on Easter Sunday that is the center of the religion. It's hard for me to believe them, though, since the symbol of Christianity refers specifically - sometimes quite graphically - or at least symbolically, to his death.

One of my great teachers explained Christianity this way: "In that religion, the God experiences, in his body, what we go through." Well, wow. That makes sense.

However you look at it, Good Friday is about giving it up, letting go, releasing everything, even hope. On Good Friday, it's OK to grieve. That's powerful. Though I'll work today, I'll be meditating on how hard it is to say goodbye to anything, everything, everyone.

Yesterday I said goodbye to the dog featured on the sidebar. She lived a long life and though I feel sad, I know it was time. This is one of the things about growing older that I value above almost everything else: coming to terms with letting go. Yeah.

Good Friday, y'all. Have a wonderful day, but then, give it up tonight, let go and move on to Saturday, yes? I say yes.


glnroz said...

I hope every Friday is good to you, Ms. Reya

The Bug said...

I have to say that the death of Christ has always seemed more real (and probable) than the resurrection. The older I get the more I have trouble with the story. But I don't have trouble with the ideals that we can take away from Christianity - when it's done right. I guess that's why I'm singing in the choir on Sunday - to celebrate the great mystery behind those ideals.

Have a blessed weekend Reya!

steven said...

reya my grandfather(my dad's dad) was a wesleyan methodist minister and my other grandfather was a lay preacher - same branch of christianity. i grew up with the burden of their knowledge and then also with the gift (handed to me through my dad's dad to my dad) of a sense of there being a need to examine knowledge as it is presented in any religious or spiritual text. you know that so much of what some take for granted is improbable for others and the realities presented in anyone's words are open to the multiplicity of understandings and perceptions contained within the many people who call this place home. wherever there is mystery i get excited. it tells me i'm close to something worthwhile and often greater than itself. such is the whole experience of easter for me. steven

Kerry said...

I was raised in a church-going family, but Easter was always a mystery to me, still is. I guess that's not all bad.

Sweet old doggie in your side bar, farewell.

Reya Mellicker said...

I hope I didn't sound anti-Christian. I certainly am not, but having been raised Jewish, I've never been able to crack into any of the Christian mysteries.

one thing I know for sure is: it's not for sissies! Christianity is intense!! Wow.

Yes Steven, yes, yes.

Linda Sue said...

good Friday- good for what- not that one guy that's for sure! I am not so much anti religion as anti stupidity...seems to creep into religion a lot...

ellen abbott said...

even though I was raised as a christian, that whole god incarnate thing just makes no sense to me since we are all god incarnate. god experiences through all of us every day. and they make such a big deal of his death when what he suffered was no more terrible (and probably far less so) than horrible deaths millions of people have suffered. not like he was burned at the stake or drawn and quartered after being disemboweled or suffered months of pain while dying from cancer. besides, the dead and risen god is not even original to christianity.

hele said...

Her Grave
by Mary Oliver

She would come back, dripping thick water, from the green bog.
She would fall at my feet, she would draw the black skin
from her gums, in a hideous and wonderful smile-----
and I would rub my hands over her pricked ears and her
cunning elbows,
and I would hug the barrel of her body, amazed at the unassuming
perfect arch of her neck.

It took four of us to carry her into the woods.
We did not think of music,
but, anyway, it began to rain

Her wolfish, invitational, half-pounce.

Her great and lordly satisfaction at having chased something.

My great and lordly satisfaction at her splash
of happiness as she barged
through the pitch pines swiping my face with her
wild, slightly mossy tongue.

Does the hummingbird think he himself invented his crimson throat?
He is wiser than that, I think.

A dog lives fifteen years, if you're lucky.

Do the cranes crying out in the high clouds
think it is all their own music?

A dog comes to you and lives with you in your own house, but you
do not therefore own her, as you do not own the rain, or the
trees, or the laws which pertain to them.

Does the bear wandering in the autumn up the side of the hill
think all by herself she has imagined the refuge and the refreshment
of her long slumber?

A dog can never tell you what she knows from the
smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know
almost nothing.

Does the water snake with his backbone of diamonds think
the black tunnel on the bank of the pond is a palace
of his own making?

She roved ahead of me through the fields, yet would come back, or
wait for me, or be somewhere.

Now she is buried under the pines.

Nor will I argue it, or pray for anything but modesty, and
not to be angry.

Through the trees is the sound of the wind, palavering

The smell of the pine needles, what is it but a taste
of the infallible energies?

How strong was her dark body!

How apt is her grave place.

How beautiful is her unshakable sleep.

the slick mountains of love break
over us.