Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Easter views

For an Australian Easter in Spring is something of an epiphany (not that this is my first one). All the (apparently hollow) symbolism actually has meaning when experienced here in the north. Perhaps even more so in the very far north (such as Finland) where the harsh colds and frozen water of winter gives way to the burst of growth of plants.

Reasons for flowers suddenly make sense as they symbolise the cyclic regeneration of the things which seemed to die and pass with the coming of winter, to be renewed with the cycles of the seasons.

So it makes sense for the the Christians to have hijacked this occasion with their Easter message of death and life after the everlasting life after death.

I must say that as one who does not believe in reincarnation (the variouso non christian views of it), and is also vexed about the idea that there is anything after life (but certainly not in outright denial), I have found over the years that the Christian messages at Easter are somewhat confusing and incomprehensible (such as the God who is man thing, the sacrifice of God himself as a part of Christ ... the list goes on). I lay the blame for that at the feet of those who so incapably teach it. Far more are called to serve Faith than seem to be able to teach. Perhaps too I as the student was not yet "prepared ground" to allow such things to grow.

Back at the end of 2012 I wrote that who I was and who I was becoming was dead. Of course this "death" is somewhat of a metaphor. Perhaps that post (or this one the year later) may go some way towards explaining that metaphor.

I re-watched Cast Away (Tom Hanks) lastnight (having put it off a few times for various reasons) to find that there was a message within that quite similar to my own journey.

My view is that while Chuck the human survived, so much of Chuck died that his survival grew him into a different version of himself. His epiphany came when he realised:
I couldn't even kill myself the way that I wanted to, I had power over nothing.
When he came back to "civilization" he was clearly a changed man. His perception of time "that ticking clock" was altered (perhaps forever) by those long years alone, where clocks had no real meaning. He had in some ways discovered things inside him which he never knew existed.

I think its fair to say that the Chuck who landed on the island died, but the Chuck who emerged was wiser stronger and visibly healthier than the dead Chuck.

Chuck had been reborn: that my friends is the message of Easter.

You don't get that singing in a church and  falling backwards in a bath (paying money for playing a role in a theatric event) you get it from emerging from suffering.

Let me tell you something obvious which many can repeat but don't grok: suffering fucking hurts.

Since Anita passed away I have been attacked at all angles (yet protected in some ways). I have had physical degradation from my the infection near my heart and the death of my wife (closest to my heart) and the constant and grinding loneliness to fill my every night.

So like Chuck I have been in a kind of survival mode since then. Where I just try to keep breathing, even though I have no reason to hope.

These last few months I have had no plan, no idea what tomorrow would bring and even thoughts of plans bring me nothing more than the reminder that my plans were all destroyed that moment when I got that phone call to say she was in hospital with a tumor.

Of course death does not come in an instant, it takes time for everything to sink in and even some days for things to happen. None the less I see that who I was is now gone.

But I have said this before, todays message is about the realisation that (even though I have totally no idea what will be in the furture, even though I still feel the pain of her absence) that life has not finished yet (despite me wishing that it had).

Unlike Chucks fiance Kelly, I have totally no hope to hold onto that Anita may be still alive, yet like her I feel that sense of hope, that the love that bound us still lives.

Somehow this taking a step every day has shown me that while plans can not be made with certainty; that the journey of a thousand steps is reached by taking that step every day.

The difference for me now is that I don't have a map and I don't care. Perhaps that means I will never be lost?

While in many ways the colour has gone from my life at the moment there is still beauty in texture (expressed black and white). The daffodil image to the left here was one I took with my "big camera" of some daffodils that Anita bought one Easter past for our home in Finland. Finns quite like these bright and beautiful plants at this time. If you click it a larger version will load and I hope you will enjoy the textures of that exploring the small beauties in that image.

If I have taken anything of Anita with me into my future I believe it is the understandings of the beauty of small things that she gave me.

The Cathedral at Tampere has some of the works of the artist Hugo Simberg (Anita loved his works and introduced me to them). Of all the churches I've ever entered this is the only one where behind the altar was a message that there is something beyond the grave. Not like the typical Catholic Cathedral: stagnant and brooding where ultimately a message of "pain and death hangs on a cross" looms ... but instead a message of hope beyond what seems hoplessness.

perhaps this is the most meaningful message of resurrection in our daily lives?

Happy Easter and may you find peace

[to Anita: forever your love]

No comments: