The restaurant — hole-in-the-wall with age-darkened brick wallpaper, old-lady peony-pink damask table cloths, the color my Chicago adopted grandmother used to like in homemade church blouses, eyelet white lace curtains festooned with paper ribbons in the ceiling, entwined with silk flower vines, glitter easter-eggs, feather butterflies in “old-lady chic” the guidebook calls it, ribbons hanging from the trophy animals, dusty green-red pheasant I can’t see his tail, two deer heads with gold mardi gras beads wrapped ’round dead necks and antlers, soft orange carrot salad a feast of hunter’s stew between potato pancakes plump meat chunks tucked in a surprise the old man with Andy Warhol hair arguing cheerfully with the middle-aged waiter reading a conservative fantasy novel, this food is better than your mother’s he says with a straight face, expecting the rejoinder as my husband checks out, tart herbaceous currant juice, the color of crushed berries — it tastes like secrets –
It’s Good Friday 2013 and, as I pause to reflect on this strange day in the Church’s year, I ask myself what can all this possibly mean to my beautiful Pagan friends? But then it occurs to me that, as a somewhat heretical Christian, I may as well also ask myself, what does it all mean to me now that I’ve escaped from the straight jacked of organized Christianity?
Here’s where my ponderings took me:
I often feel the pressure of living in a precarious, wounded and at times hostile world. Sometimes one reaches the very end of his or her resources and literally crashes in a broken heap. Yet within the mess and pain is often found a little spark of light. Beautifully symbolised by the final personification that crept out of Pandora’s terrifying box, hope can always be found in the dark gaping chasms of life. And this image of hope within excruciating pain, trauma and brokenness, is the central reason why the literal/mythic story of Jesus/Christ still makes sense to me.