Saturday, April 10, 2010

After Easter

Reflecting on my past week and considering what called to be shared this morning, I looked into my past few journal entries and was greeted with a heading “Where do you experience the body of Christ?” Words flowed and I found the answer easily in those places where I feel most myself – welcomed – connected – seen for who I am versus who others think I should be.... but, life isn’t always lived feeling welcome & connected.

“We cannot live without being affected by others, but we are only real when we let truth and love shape us from within.” -- Mark Nepo

This week has been an odd one for me. Easter has come and gone. Life feels much the same as before and it feels different. How do we live after Easter? This week has been a series of ups and downs. I’ve considered where I meet the risen Christ. I’ve struggled with betrayal. I’ve experienced hope. Rejoiced in laughter and silence.

Easter Sunday this year was spent celebrating behind prison walls and in many ways it was a more sincere celebration than ever before without all the pomp and circumstance. Feelings of unconditional love and hope for restoration resounded. Still...

A big question this week has been who are my friends? Who stands up for me and meets me on the road where I am? Who stays present when the going gets rough or uncomfortable? Who is willing to die alongside me – the small and large doses of death each day? How will I meet those who grieve (myself included)? How will you?

This week, I wrote notes of condolence (which I prefer to call notes of solidarity) to two friends – one who lost a child tragically to alcohol poisoning; the other, whose father died naturally of old age. I attended a celebration for people in recovery, honoring their healing and transformation. I walked in a hailstorm and was met by sunshine when I turned a corner. Yes, it has been an odd week and a very normal one.

Reflecting again on “where do I experience the body of Christ?” I realize it is in all these places – behind prison walls & freely walking in my neighborhood – in death, life and resurrection. Struggling with betrayal and rejoicing in blessings. There is no separation. If Christ is risen – if I am risen – we must experience each other where our joy and wounds meet. Feeling the cross and the resurrection. Before. After. Now.







“Origami Emotion”

Elizabeth Barrette

Hope is
Folding paper cranes
even when your hands get cramped
and your eyes tired,
working past blisters and
paper cuts,
simply because something in you
insists on
opening its wings.



The collages shown here were co-created with my friend, MaryEllen, to honor the participants in our recent class,

Deepening Spirituality through SoulCollage.

top to bottom: Jan, Mikey, Jo, Q, Jeana

19 comments:

Les (Endlessly Restless) said...

Lucy

This is a wonderful, honest, 'warts and all' entry. I've been struggling a bit with the question - where does the joy of Easter shine through in my life. I think in some ways you touch on the essence of this issue when you say "we must experience each other where our joy and wounds meet".

Thanks

lucy said...

les - you didn't see ALL of my warts in this post ;) i've really been struggling with the whole build up to easter thing and then bam, it's over and we're left living with the resurrection which is great, but as i said to another blogger recently - we can't stay on the mountaintop. we have to learn how to encounter life (christ) in the desert and not just the garden... not sure if this resonates or not, but that's what came to mind with your question/struggle - 'where does the joy of Easter shine through in my life.'

The Pollinatrix said...

A beautiful post!

What has been striking me this year is that the Easter season lasts until Pentecost in the Christian calendar. I like that.

I'm on a journey right now that leads me to answer the question of where I find the body of Christ: right here, in my own body. Only by finding it here, can I BE it for and with others.

Maureen said...

I attended a reading and book signing Thursday evening and wrote about it yesterday in a post I titled "Reading with Anne Lamott". One quote I selected from what Lamott said that night has stuck in my mind: Grace is a God who meets you where you are, not where you've left him.

However difficult or weird or a struggle our life seems at any moment, knowing wherever each of us may be, He is seems to be a welcome connection and perhaps enough.

The Pollinatrix said...

Oh - and I REALLY like that first collage; it's now one of my favorites of yours.

lucy said...

polli - it's so delightful to see you (& others) connecting within. i couldn't agree more...

re: the collage - while it is one of my creations, it is actually in honor of a woman named jan. she is battling bravely and beautifully for her life. she recently came out of remission from breast cancer and has been given a prognosis of two years to live. please hold her lovingly in your thoughts and prayers - along with the rest of the amazing women represented here.

lucy said...

maureen - when i read the quotes in your post, this was one that stuck out to me.... and even when we 'forget,' God is still there/here!!!

Tess said...

I noticed something today which somehow resonated with me and in a way relates in my mind to what you're saying. Our weather here has gone in one week from freezing to balmy and I left the house in t-shirt and sandals. As I put my house keys in my bag, I say my furry warm gloves still there.
It was so trivial, but it struck me how very quickly life changes, how unprepared we are. Your friends and their loss, your own experience, your friend with breast cancer. We are so unprepared even for meeting Christ.
Those last words here - folding paper cranes - are they yours? They are absolutely stunning.

Barbara said...

How deep and how true your words about experiencing [Christ/one another] where our joy and wounds meet. In Christ they paradoxically come together.

In Catherine deVinck's poetic Passion Play, she writes these words for Jesus to Mary Magdalen:

You cannot come with me.
You cannot touch yet what is undying
but in all rooms, places, enclosures
of your life, I am with you;
in all the landscapes of your mind
I meet you; in all the years
of your stillness, of your running
I am present, striking fire
from the flint of your hunger
driving water through the sands
of your immense thirst.
My peace I give you,
my peace I leave with you, beloved.


Peace to you, too, lucy. It is not for the wishy-washy this peace stuff.

claire said...

feeling the cross and resurrection. Before. After. Now.
Oh, yes. I don't believe one can truly feel the resurrection otherwise.

Folding paper cranes
even when your hands get cramped
and your eyes tired,
working past blisters and
paper cuts,
simply because something in you
insists on
opening its wings.

I like this very much. I sign up for your first online course :-)

You're helping me see that something is insisting on opening its wings :-)

lucy said...

Tess, your comments about how quickly life changes totally resonate with me. It was clearly demonstrated on my walk when I experienced everything from hail to sunshine within a matter of minutes. The same has happened again and again with life circumstances. It is such a huge reminder that all we really have and can know is NOW!!!

lucy said...

Barbara, Wow! Thank you for sharing that amazing piece of poetry. I will spend more time soaking that in. Your blessings are most welcome. Peace really isn't for sissies!

lucy said...

Tess & Claire, I really must clarify the paper cranes isn't my creation :).

Claire - here's to more opening... and you inspire me to get on the ball with my online offerings!!

Peace be with you!

Jennifer said...

I find myself unable to say how I feel, so I will only say thank you. I needed to read this.

SUNRISE SISTER said...

Lucy,

A beautiful post and all the better to be followed up with such lovely comments from your readers. Life changes so quickly and sometimes into something extraordinarily beautiful and vice versa. This reminder from you is a good one to enjoy where we are - not where we wish we were! The collages are very interesting and I bet they are even mysterious to you who made them honoring your friends.

xoxoxo

Karen said...

Sometimes you write something so deep that everything I try to write in response seems so shallow...or maybe, this is a post that I need to just read and absorb and ponder...maybe this isn't the time for my words...maybe I just need to feel this...

lucy said...

jennifer - you are most welcome. glad you're here and found something meaningful!!

SS - i have been absolutely blown away by the depth of the reader input recently. honored, surprised, blessed. enjoying every moment of where i am RIGHT NOW! xoxoxo

karen - "read, absorb, ponder"... sounds quite profound (i.e. NOT shallow) to me!!


blessings to you all!!

RipGurl said...

Lucy, I have to say that you are such a breath of fresh air! Thank you for articulating what has been resonating in my heart this Easter season.

lucy said...

RipGurl - I am tickled to be equated with the wonderful element of air. I'm so glad you got what you needed here and took the time to let me know. Keep breathing!