Recently I went through my blog posts and took a lot of them down. Wondering if I might go a bit more 'public' with this blog, I thought I had better hide the posts which were less private that I would want now I'm more internet-savvy. The easiest way for me to do that was to mark out all posts before a certain date, so some perfectly OK posts were hidden too but life's too short to go through them all one by one.
Anyway here's an Easter post written in 2004, still pretty much how I feel, though I think my style is a little less twee these days and a bit more self-conscious maybe:
Let the trees be consulted
before you take any action
every time you breathe in
thank a tree
let treeroots crack parking lots
at the world bank headquarters
let loggers be druids
specially trained and rewarded
to sacrifice trees at auspicious times
let carpenters be master artisans
let lumber be treasured like gold
let chainsaws be played like saxophones
let soldiers on maneuvers plant trees
give police and criminals
a shovel and a thousand seedlings
let businessmen carry pocketfuls of acorns
let newlyweds honeymoon in the woods
walk don't drive
stop reading newspapers
stop writing poetry
squat under a tree
and tell stories
- John Wright, from Earth Prayers From Around The World
Today is Easter Sunday. I used to like going to the Easter Vigil
service at our local church, because I loved the fire outside the
church at the start of the ceremony, and the way we lit our candles from
the new Easter Candle, and then processed into the dark church. The
symbolism was not lost on me, and I did feel stirred when the priest
talked of 'Alpha and Omega'. I was much happier with these symbols than
with all the stuff about the crucifixion and the people involved in that.
These days I don't really want to go to church services. 'Jesus
stuff' makes me uneasy (and bored), because there's often such a lot of
dross that comes with it. I'm moved by the passing of the seasons and
the cycles of the earth; by contemplating dark and light, hope and love
and how to cope with the world as it is.
I know Christians who are unloving and judgemental, Christians
who are evangelical to the point of tiresomeness, and Christians who are
giving and generous and empathetic.
I am suspicious of any religion which insists that it is
the best way to God (and what does that mean anyway?) Once I went on a
Buddhist meditation course, and at no time was it suggested that we
become Buddhist, or even that we try to see things from a Buddhist
perspective. It was even said that becoming Buddhist wasn't necessarily
of more value than expressing your spiritual faith through the one you
were brought up with - in my case Catholicism.
When someone I know dies, it reminds me that I really
haven't got a clue what happens when we die. Although I had a
relatively positive experience of being Catholic as a child, it was
drummed into me that there's a heaven and a hell, and God wants you to
be good, and if you sin, you're in trouble with him. Ugh ugh ugh. Why
did I even care? Now I can't bring myself to think of God as him, OR
her, and I don't trust a word anyone says about any of it. Even nature
seems messed up to me. Yes rainbows and sunrises are lovely, but what
about when the fox chomps on the ducks as a midnight snack? I need a
new point of reference. What drives us to promote love, and life,
rather than fear, and death?
I suppose you could say that I have lost my faith.
It bugs me, but what can you do? I'm too smart/jaded to accept
someone else's views fully formed, and too unfocused to articulate my
own. All I'm left with is what just rings true for me, and I wonder how
convinced of even those things I'd be if I knew I was about to die.
Even near-death experiences can be explained in terms of biology, though I don't believe that means that's all there is to them.
But what if I'm wrong? When I'm down, I rely heavily on Love, as
a thread which runs through everything, and something which is going to
save us in the end. What if I'm wrong? What if I'm wrong?
It's perfectly clear to me that one of the few things I can be
sure of is that there is more to life (as I know it) than I will ever
understand as long as I'm in this space-time continuum. It's both awful
and comforting to know that.
But hey. In the short-term, I have plenty of
chocolate, so I'll be alright. Love, life, and chocolate! Woohoo!
(There's the obligatory light-hearted remark, just to reassure you that I
don't think about this stuff all the time. .......Weeellll, only if
the day has a 'y' in it.)
Listening to: Mozart Clarinet Concerto; Cubanismo in
New Orleans, featuring John Boutte & The Yockamo All-Stars -
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