Sometimes I just stand at the window and look across the back alley at this tree. It’s perfect really, every branch like a bouquet of fluffy pink flowers. The tree grows behind an abandoned, or at least very run-down, house. Something about the elegant beauty of those pink branches shading the decrepit fence and boarded windows always makes me stop. The petals fall on tangled weeds and the light filters through flowers onto crumbling foundations. Beauty and ugliness, light and shadow, life and death.
Just like Good Friday, the day when it looks like Death won. Divorced from Easter Sunday, Good Friday is the saddest day of the year. But Easter comes. Flowers bloom after winter. Life wins.
I know I shared this poem a couple years ago, but I remembered how much I loved it when a friend shared it the other day and I just had to share it again.
I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness,
And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama
And the bold imposing facade are all being rolled away
Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too long between stations
And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence
And you see behind every face the mental emptiness deepen
Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious of nothing–
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
-TS Eliot, “East Coker”
What are you doing this Easter weekend?
(PS: A Good Friday quote from my favorite Frenchman here.)