Well, my Easter weekend went as well as could reasonably be expected. I work in the food service sector and we’re always busy on holiday weekends, so we went into it somewhat prepared. I worked ten-plus hours Friday, getting ready. Saturday was a bit of a nightmare on the line. Then I was going to the Easter Vigil and had to go through downtown and I’ma start a new paragraph for that.
There’s an annual beer and music festival that happens in this town and this year it happened on the Saturday before Easter, which also happened to be 20 April, aka 4/20, the pothead national holiday. So downtown was wall-to-wall imbeciles in some state of wasted, stumbling around in the streets, enjoying themselves, and I turned into a cranky old man cussing young people wit their new-fangled “weed holiday”, crossing against the lights and “having fun”, mainly because they were doing it in such a half-assed, lame way. Drinking beer outta red plastic cups within a municipally-approved festival zone and toking a little reefer on 4/20 is pathetic, amateur bullshit. If you’re gonna drink and do drugs in public, do it right: get annihilated on vodka, meth and acid and then drink beer and smoke weed while burning down a Starbucks naked. Getting slightly mellow while listening to a local band do Dave Matthews covers is just sad.
Anyway, the Easter Vigil was cool. We went up to the graveyard, a big line of Lutherans led by the Pastor and Crucifer and Torch-Bearers, and lit a fire with all the proper ritualistics, then back to the church for Mass. There was a Baptism, the first I’d seen since I became a Lutheran, and we all renounced the Devil and his wicked ways. The baby slept through the whole ceremony, which was cute. Then a buncha responsive readings and “Alleluia”s and more ritual. Sunday, I went to the 11am service and got more of the same. I really love the whole pomp and ceremony and shit. I grew up Anabaptist and everything there was pretty low-key. The preacher just wore a suit and it was pretty easy to doze off. The Lutheran liturgy has a lotta standing up and sitting down and responding and affirming and creeding and I dig that. Makes it seem like you’re actually doing something. The homily was about Jesus being out of the tomb and how easy it is for people to sorta take Him out, celebrate for a day, and then put Him back in the tomb ’til next year, which is a fine message. It is certainly right and good to rejoice on Easter, but the fact of the matter is that everyday is a day to rejoice in the Resurrection of Christ. Everyday is Easter – which obviously reminded me of Easter Everywhere by the 13th Floor Elevators, which is a fine piece of psychedelia, though I personally skip the Dylan cover because I personally hate Bob Dylan and everything he stands for, especially when he focuses on how appallingly misogynistic he can be, which is every song he ever wrote about a female human being. I have to admit, I really love the Byrd’s version of “Easy Chair” and Manfred Mann’s cover of “Mighty Quinn”, both of which Dylan wrote, but neither of which are all about how he thinks that women exist to service him sexually.
Anyhoo, everyday is the day of Christ’s Resurrection. Everyday is the day of Creation. Everyday is the day that the Lord has made. This is a concept that I learned from studying Aboriginal Australian spiritual beliefs and practices. See, the Australian Aborigines believe that the gods or spirits or whatever exist outside of the thing we call “time”, in a state they call “Dreamtime”, which can be accessed using ritual techniques. The gods are always present in the now, always doing the Divine Work, but covered with a fine barrier which is why they aren’t visible. It is necessary to participate in the “normal” world, for practical reasons, but also necessary to participate in the Dreamtime because that’s more real. They just wander back and forth across the line between the sacred and the profane like it ain’t nuthin’, which I think is how people oughta live. Especially me. Y’all can do whatever ya wanna, but I’ma do the best I can to have one foot on Earth and the other in Heaven because that just makes more sense. I am very firmly among the minority of people for whom the realm of the Spirit is more real than this here zone of middle dimensions. I am currently a Lutheran Christian and I love the rituals and costumes of my church, the Liturgy, the processions, the genuflecting, all of it. I sent texts saying “He is risen” to various people on Easter morning. I’m really digging the whole thing. And I’m totally okay with the Buddhist imagery on the cover of Easter Everywhere and the naked paganry of the Australian Aborigines. There’s so much value in all perspectives and I’ma use everything I can find that’ll help me open up to the living presence of the Absolute Mystery, no matter the origin.
After church, I went to the home of a relative for a meal with family. This was the first Easter meal at this particular relative’s house – my maternal grandparents both died last year so we ain’t doing stuff at their house anymore. New traditions are being created. And I’m gearing up to start college in a coupla weeks. And I took a break in the middle of writing this to meet with the realtor and the sellers of the house I’m buying. All kindsa new shit’s going on. And I’m tapped into the celestial rhythm of creation and destruction by my participation in an established ritual tradition and that’s pretty cool.
First thing I’ma do when I move into the house is get a dog. I also gotta name the house – possibly something that indicates that it might become a home-church. I hain’t got any ideas for that. And I’m gonna paint everything and write Bible verses and pithy quotes all over. And lotsa stuff because Creation is happening all over. Christ is risen, alleluia! And I heartily endorse and encourage this sorta behavior because that’s what’s great about being alive and being part of God’s Creation.
And I’ma go take a nap now.