Sunday, April 12, 2009


I love Easter for the resurrection. What is it and its season all about if not rebirth, the dead coming alive again, as my father did in last night's dream.

He lay there--his corpse, that is--and my mother kept feeding the body, trying to get him the liquids that she assumed he needed. It was a ministering like I saw her give him in his last hours. Alongside this scene, there was my living father. He is always a younger version of the father I remember when we meet in dreams like this: bright and smiling and slim, his hair more dark brown than grey. This time he was doing something he did a lot of for us: fixing things. He had a talent, I daresay a genius for fixing things. This time, he handed me a brown leather pocketbook that he had restored for me. Had the strap given way? Did a buckle fall off? I don't know what he did to it exactly; I just know that he held it out to me whole. It hung from his fingers by the shoulder strap. He was pleased and I was pleased, and I said, "I don't want you to die, Dad. I want you alive again." Which was a silly thing to say because he was already alive again, handing me my purse, in perfect repair, and he had already
died: there was his corpse alongside my mother to prove it. And I was wanting to tell my mother that she could stop feeding that corpse because my father, her husband, was alive and well and standing right here just as clever as ever.

How's that for an Easter dream? And what is this if not an Easter poem, a "spring beaut[y]" in
its own right:


And now my spring beauties,
Things of the earth,
Beetles, shards and wings of moth
And snail houses left
From last summer's wreck,
Now spring smoke
Of the burned dead leaves
And veils of the scent
Of some secret plant,

Come, my beauties, teach me,
Let me have your wild surprise,
Yes, and tell me on my knees
Of your new life.

~Jean Garrigue

"Do you believe in the resurrection?"

My mother puts such questions to me from time to time, concerned as she is about the status of my relationship to "my faith"--or, more specifically, my redemption: will St. Peter let me pass?

"Of course I do!"

That's what I'd say if she asked me today, with resurrection everywhere in sight. The hard brown shells of the larches are a blur of spring green. The mountain woods are awash with the clearest of fresh falls and streams. The sap is rising in the trees and in you and me. It is a wonder and a glory and worthy of praise indeed.

Amen, alleluia.


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