Sunday, March 23, 2008

In the Shadow of the Tomb-Stone

For all intents and purposes, my Lent was nothing more than a series of broken New Years resolutions. My desire for spiritual equilibrium was met with the intensification of idol-obsession; time set aside for being on my knees in Adoration of the Lord degenerated into time spent sitting on my ass in adoration of some piece of useless information on Wikipedia. Days of fasting turned into nights of drinking and attempts at chaste refrain were quickly twarted by boredom. For all my valiant efforts at asceticism, all I had to offer were the shards of the broken vessel I had intended to give my Creator, my Redeemer--my best efforts at spinning a pot that never saw a kiln. I admitted it to my confessor last week: I miss being in love. Its hard sacrificing when you know the only sacrifice worth offering comes from love...a love that seems to have since cooled to room-temperature.

Then again, Jesus' mission to redeem his people had its final chapter penned satirically by ghost-writers, hung for all to read; the public proclamation of his failure to deliver on a promise:

IESVS·NAZARENVS·
REX·IVDÆORVM

His disciples, who saw his death as the ultimate betrayal of trust and a catastrophic failure for Israel against Rome, were living in this dark valley that lay between Golgotha and Zion from Friday til Sunday. It was a time of conflicted emotions...trust and despair, anger and hope, selfishness and sadness all bled into a common pot, a twelve spoked wheel whose hub had suddenly failed and left its passengers in the middle of the desert with nothing to do but wait.

My dad and I were talking about the "energy crisis," a discussion spurred after a drive around the neighborhood in their freshly-purchased Toyota Prius hybrid. He said, "Always remember: no matter how bad things get and how much doom and gloom you might hear, mankind will always find a solution to our problems." I saw this message of inspiration as reflecting either a newly adopted naive humanism or an unshaken trust in the belief that "everything will be okay in the end." Coming home this evening and cleaning house in attempt to have at least the appearance of order and balance in my life, I started to feel that my efforts at cleaning myself up for Lent were good...but they didn't really matter much. It's like when we used to go on vacation and my mom would always make the bed in the hotel room; it would make her feel good, but I knew full well the maid would strip and remake the bed as soon as we left, undoing all my mom's good works. But it never kept her from doing it. I don't bother telling her anymore that it doesn't matter whether she makes the bed or not, that its all going to get undone. I think she knows in either case.


The photograph above was taken this morning--the shadow of a telephone pole with arm-like supports under the cross-brace was painted by the sun on the side of Sasquatch's neighbor's house. The silhouettes of birds flying and landing on it fluttered across the stuccoed canvas. Sasquatch died a few months ago, too, which made the witnessing of this ephemeral cross appearing on Easter morning all the more...timely.

Listening to: Samamidon, This Chicken Proved Falsehearted

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