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April 06, 2012

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On Good Friday there will be spinach but no meat.
Some traditions are worth keeping even without the faith.

I always forget about Easter. I guess that's my tradition.

This year is unusual because I do know that Easter is tomorrow. SOmeone reminded me yesterday.

TO those who clebrate the holiday: enjoy! I will be at work.

OK, so you're supposed to end a Seder with the toast "next year in Jerusalem". What do you do if your Seder IS in Jerusalem?

Thanks Doc, I got wrapped up with work. My customary practice around this time is a freshman camp for the incoming students of our faculty. We generally do an Easter Egg hunt, but this is the first year that the camp has fallen on the actual day of Easter.

What a weekend! Thomas Kinkade and Mike Wallace died, John Derbyshire got let go from National Review for accidentally breaking the first rule of fight club, and conservative blogs are split between "well of course Derbyshire doesn't speak for conservatives on this issue" and "you libtards just can't handle THE TRUTH."

I need a drink!

Spent Easter with my wife and sister. Church, which was great, then brunch, which was OK and overpriced in honor of the holiday, then celebrated the resurrection by sitting around looking through a big box of my late father's stuff, which came to us recently about ten years after his passing.

There is, of course, a long story in there, full of the usual varieties of family crazeology, and not worth recounting due to its banality. We were just glad to finally get the box of dad's stuff.

Sis and I horrified my wife for a while with hilarious tales of familial bad behavior and domestic disaster, admired the youthful beauty and vigor of our parents and aunts and uncles as captured in photographs from 40 50 and 60 years ago, then she (sis) headed back home to chilly New Hampshire.

Then a small supper of salami and cheese, our (my wife and my) weekly ritual viewing of Masterpiece Theater, and so to bed.

We used to do the Easter basket thing, but my stepson is all grown up now (he's 28) so the juice has kind of gone out of that. It is, for us, an adult holiday now.

And all in all, it was actually, no snark, a pretty great day.

I like Easter, to me it's the most challenging of holidays. Without wanting to jack the thread into some crazy theological cage match, the basic claim of Easter - that death itself has been overcome and made ultimately toothless, not as a metaphor, but really - is so plainly counter-intuitive as to be scandalous.

Even absent the truly outrageous claims of orthodox Christian dogma, the day is all about the resurgence of life. Beautiful, flowering, indomitable life. Life in all of its crazy gratuitous variety, endlessly and giddily in love with itself.

The goldfinches look like somebody dipped them in Dayglo, the weeping cherry has more blooms on it then there are stars in the sky, and if you stand in the right spot - someplace sunny, out of the wind - it might actually be warm for a minute.

Hope y'all had a great holiday.

The goldfinches look like somebody dipped them in Dayglo...

We have a finch feeder just outside our kitchen-nook window. It's busy these days. My kids are quick to point out the sex of the birds based on the color of the plumage. (The Eastern Goldfinch is the state bird of New Jersey, in case any of youse were wondering.)

Pretty much like Russell, except we did a family dinner at our place, followed by the Masters. In addition to our kids and spouses/significant others, another gang of kids' friends dropped by and spent the day. It was a good day.

My husband and I spent part of the day sorting through old photos, too. We were preparing for my mother-in-law's memorial service. So. appropriately, on Easter I was thinking about the death-in-life and life-in-death,too.

I don't believe in the resurrection or reincarnation or much of anything, really. But, here's one of my favorite poems:


thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Or this:

O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
the
doting

fingers of
prurient philosophers pinched
and
poked

thee
,has the naughty thumb
of science prodded
thy

beauty .how
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy knees
squeezing and

buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive
gods
(but
true

to the incomparable
couch of death thy
rhythmic
lover

thou answerest

them only with

spring)


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