Imbolc and the Leap Year Moon

Monday gratefuls: Joe calling while Seoah and I were visiting Murdoch. His smile. Seoah’s delight being with her boy. Our conversations on the way to and from Bergen Bark Inn. Kate’s continuing improvement. I can see the pre-bleed Kate, actually, the pre-Sjogren’s Kate. Fresh snow.

“Up from the grave he arose…He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.” Robert Lowry, 1874.

In the Reconstructionist spirit I’m reclaiming this core Easter message from a favorite hymn, #322 in the Methodist Hymnal. Sung often during Lent and the Easter season. I remember the sanctuary, pitched slightly down toward the raised pulpit and choir chancel area. To our right and above where our family always sat was a huge stained glass window of Jesus praying at Gethsemane. “Lord, take this cup from me.”

The choir would file in, take their places, and the organist would hit a note. The choir director lifted a hand and the whole congregation would join the choir, the energy and joy in this hymn evident. Voices lifted the words up, up, up toward the heavens. Yes, it was still a three-story universe in 1950’s Alexandria, Indiana. I believed.

Gethsemane, or the Mount of Olives, starts Jesus’ passion, the events that would lead to his crucifixion and resurrection. That’s significant for my reclaiming of this hymn’s powerful message. Jesus’ prayer there began with these words: “My soul is sorrowful to the point of death.” In Luke the story says, “In his anguish he prayed even more earnestly, and his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.”

He did not want to die, did not want to go through the trials he sensed were about come. How very human. Over the last couple of years I’ve gone to my own Mount of Olives many times. Universe, could you take your foot off our neck? I can’t deal with any more, please let up. My soul was sorrowful often, in anguish often. I hoped for different outcomes, for relief for Kate, for me, for Gertie.

Somewhat like Jesus, the Taoist in me responded to my hopes: yet not my will, but thine be done. That is, I know the course of these matters is uncertain, will go where it is headed, so let me be able to withstand what comes, to follow where they lead.

I had friends at CBE, friends in Minnesota and elsewhere, and family supporting me, giving me strength; but, also like Jesus, it was my journey, one I had to face on my own.

Where am I on this ancientrail of passion, of suffering now? I get hints, shards of feeling that echo Lowry’s hymn. Kate and I seem to be rising like victors from the dark domain. Her laughter and humor are back. She’s able to do more thanks to better stamina. With Seoah’s help I’ve gotten more rest. I feel like me again, at least some of the time.

We humans know well the ancientrail of passion and suffering. Our lives do not run smoothly from birth to death. How many times do we go into the Garden and pray for this to pass? How many times do we admit our frailty, our inability to handle troubles, Shakespeare’s slings and arrows? Often we do take arms against that sea of troubles and, sometimes, by opposing, end them. But often too Gertie dies. Eventually even this ancientrail ends in our own death.

Before that, however, we can take a lesson from Jesus at Gethsemane. We can ask for our pain to be lifted. Our sweat may fall like great drops of blood as we do so. It may seem like our friends and loved ones are asleep in spite of our agony. Yet if we add into that request our wu wei knowledge, that matters have their own course, their own path and we have to conform to them, then there will be times when, like Jesus after his death, we can rise as victors from the dark domain. A great joy and fullness can follow hard times. The sun can rise again.

Resurrection is real. I’ve felt it after polio, after my mother’s death, after divorce, after the death of our dogs. I’m feeling it now.

This entry was posted in Dogs, Faith and Spirituality, Family, Friends, Great Wheel, Health, Memories, Minnesota, Myth and Story, Original Relation, Reimagine. Reconstruct. Reenchant., Shadow Mountain, Third Phase. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.