Here is the thing about Easter. It’s never been my favorite. Part of me wants to blame the color scheme. It’s so hard to get behind a holiday that is all about pastel fluff – marshmallows and jellies and pink pink pink.
What if we were to color the day in crimson hues? I mean, bright and glorious – that shiny warrior color, blood-red like the sun coming up in a stormy sky?
Well, that’s better.
The thing about Easter is, I think, that nobody shouts enough. It’s hard to get excited about bunnies and peeps and little rosy colored eggs. Shiny shoes and broad brimmed hats and long, long church services.
Yes, what if we shouted? What if we claimed the victory that is our birthright and sang about a never-ending life?
Maybe we should throw aside the eggs and the bunnies and (maybe) even the chocolate and just be . . . well, shouldn’t we be really happy?
If the egg scheme is gone, and we are left with only the victory of life over death, then . . . we should definitely be singing. Lol! Maybe we just need to pay more attention. To examine more closely the words of the dry little fellow on the alter, and then repeat them to one another. Joyfully.
Because if Jesus died and then came back - and this we know to be true - that is huge. That is rock star awesome, and that victory should absolutely be vibrating throughout the whole universe.
So maybe this Easter we should pluck happiness out of the sky and hug it to ourselves just as fiercely as we hold our sorrows, our angers, our prejudices. And we could let those things go, because they cost too much anyway. We could dance instead of cowering, we could lift our faces to the sky and inhale sunshine.
And sing, beautiful people, sing hallelujah.
“My mother died yesterday,” she writes. “She was eighty-seven years old, and I never told her I loved her. But I did.”
The post rears up from six-hundred twenty others and slaps me full in the face, such a sharp surprise I have to blink back tears. Who wrote this? I don’t know her. Her name is Sadie and she’s from Scotland .
My fingers float over the keys, and finally I type, “She knew it.” I hesitate, and then punch delete.
Facebook is such an odd microorganism of life! I almost feel anger at this woman for hurting me this way, and a large part of me wants to tell her that she should have laid the computer aside, just for a minute or so, long enough to say those three words.
What sort of society bares their souls to total strangers on little-bitty screens all day long every day? Are there studies being done somewhere on the long term effects? Hang on, I need a cup of coffee while I think about this.
Okay, my Facebook may be unique in that, in addition to actual friends, I have crammed it full with authors, bloggers and firefighters from every corner of the globe. In short, people I don’t know.
Which is to say, they don’t know me either.
“Mmm-mmm, fried chicken and okra tonight. Jimmy should be home by six and this girl just wants to put her arms around him.” They’re from the south. He drives a truck and she’s got three kids at home, one of whom broke his leg last week. For a minute I can almost smell supper, hear Bandit scratching at the back door and see the first spring flowers.
“Lil girl didn’t make it but Tierra doing better, and God got his loving arms wrapped around that baby.” Chicago . The daughter lost her preemie, but they’ll be okay because they are so, so religious.
“Lost my freakin gloves in the field fire south of town. FML.” Okay, that was a huge fire, saw that on the news. Gloves should be the least of his worries.
“Day twelve without a cigarette!” “Christian brought home a science project that is going to cost us forty dollars to build a friggin robot. Hate this school system!” “Watching Chicago Fire with my hunny.” “No fat shaming!” “We’ve been pooping wrong! Asians squat on the toilet with their feet on the seat.” Aaaaargh! The messages fly off the screen, take on accents and nuances, and, sometimes, lose all meaning. Facebook is no place for empathy or patience. Is it?
“I never told her I loved her.” Ah, Sadie, there you are again. I am so sorry.
Maybe Facebook isn’t so different from anywhere else? Maybe everyone is just clamoring to be heard like bus-trapped kids on a field trip – excited, happy, sick or disconsolate? Hear me! Listen to my story!
“I don’t know you, Sadie,” I type. “But I really hate this for you. I think it will get better in time.”
The knot in my chest loosens just a little.
And I remember, then, that I’ve got a direct line to the Pope on Twitter. I’ll drop a note to him about Sadie.
“I’m so thrilled you wrote a book!” she says to me. “Do you remember how you used to read me your stories every day on the bus?”
Actually, I had forgotten. But suddenly it seems important.
“You always had a notebook in your hand, and you left spaces in between the lines in case you wanted to add more.”
She’s known me since childhood, and the rush of her enthusiasm has brought the little girl back to me whole, tousle-haired and slumped with her knees against the seat in front of her, a pencil eraser propped between her teeth.
I actually love that version of me; thank God she’s still here.
She is, you see, a writer – and I had almost lost her in the throes of trying to become an author.
Writers write. Much the same as “humans breathe.” It is an instinctual response, vital to existence. They write at kitchen tables, in bedrooms, on buses. During blizzards and heat waves, after house fires, before baptisms, during first dates. They can’t help it – they have to get story onto paper. Capture the emotion, freeze frame life. All of it.
Authors. Well, authors publish. They network, promote, sign books. They hire professional photographers to snap their photo and publishers to place it just so on the back of their novel cover. Authors edit mercilessly the writer’s dream words and then they join critique groups who help them to slice away even more. In a nutshell, authors boil the craft of writing into business, which is all well and good, and absolutely essential.
As long as the author doesn’t bury the writer.
Because the writer is susceptible to crushing injuries, and tends to crack beneath the weight of the author’s demands. Remember, she doesn’t write for money or recognition. She writes because she loves her craft - actually not so far removed from the little girl who cried when an incautious sibling left her notebook in the tree house during a thunderstorm.
To my bus buddy, I write on the inside cover of my very first real published novel. Thanks for helping me to remember. <3 Lucy Crowe
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