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Easter - Off the Cliff

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Sun Apr 16th, 2017


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02:50 pm - Easter
I much prefer March Easters to April. March has a chance of feeling like November- dry grey, cold, invigorating. April Easters follow an invariable pattern: unseasonably warm, unsettled, thunderous, with sun too bright when it breaks through the clouds and air too stifling when it doesn't. Mother of headaches, of which I have one building now. But the wind is blowing a cold front towards us and tomorrow may be better.

Easter weekend is uncomfortable anyway. What's supposed to be the joyous climax to the Christian saga has very little joy to it, to my mind. After you've waded through the tsuris of Good Friday (which as a cradle Catholic I used to do, spurred on by the morbid masochism of Irish Catholicism in its pre-Vatican 2 days) there's little consolation in an empty tomb and chocolate easter eggs so sweet you feel your teeth dissolve. Christmas is all happy anticipation crowned by happy event, plus presents and turkey. Easter is penitence for 40 days followed by indigestible lamb and said chocolate. Also easter eggs, which were overly-boiled with iron rims around the yolk.

My Greek co-worker unintentionally summed it up in her account of their traditional Easter dinner. 'After forty days of no meat and a week of no dairy either, suddenly you spend the whole day gorging on a roast lamb and your body just--' There's a special Greek word for the stomach cramps and diarrhea that follows this regimen.

Anyway, as a corrective, Cohen's Elegy.

Do not look for him
In brittle mountain streams:
They are too cold for any god;
And do not examine the angry rivers
For shreds of his soft body
Or turn the shore stones for his blood;
But in the warm salt ocean
He is descending through cliffs
Of slow green water
And the hovering coloured fish
Kiss his snow-bruised body
And build their secret nests
In his fluttering winding-sheet.

I mean, for all I know it *is* about Orpheus, but who cares?
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[User Picture]
From:i_am_zan
Date:April 17th, 2017 12:22 am (UTC)
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Ahh ... holy week eh! *sigh* - a bastion of my schoolgirl days. It was always a time of reflection (in school) and when I got home it was just another day, and 40 days of Lent - at the time (to my equally schoolgirl notion) was not that big of a deal, because of our fasting.

I wasn't actually introduced to the chocolate eggs thing till I was 18 when I spent my first Easter there. By then I was ambivalent to it all.

Hubby has a Catholic background, but as with Christmas he never bothered with the chocolate until the children came along. *smiles wryly* I think a part of it is to make up for his supposed 'deprived' upbringing. He just wants the chocolate is all.

Glad that it might be cooler for you today, it looks to be that way here too after a particularly muggy weekend. All threat of rain, heavy humidity and not much a breeze at all.

Take care, and thank you for sharing the poem, it is pretty.
[User Picture]
From:flemmings
Date:April 17th, 2017 12:33 am (UTC)
(Link)
Oh yeah, Catholic fasting is kindergarten compared to Ramadan. Though the hardcore Orthodox (as found in Ethiopia) do it for 50 days of no meat no dairy and no something else that makes life worth living.

Myself I find Easter chocolate of an inferior quality. Of course, in this decadent age you can have chocolate all the time in a dizzying array of flavours and darkness, so a chocolate bunny doesn't have quite the same eclat.

You're welcome.

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