P- as a kid, I was always mystified and humbled by the accounts that when Christ died, the skies darkened like night and there were earthquakes and scary things. I am not religious at all, but the story of the crucifixion is full of possibility and real emotional complexity. I'm not thrilled by the resurrection stories-- they are boring to me (BLASPHEME!). What is not boring is the drama of the cross and of the friends and family of Christ who had to watch, and then bury him. How did it feel for Mary to hold the dead weight of her child? Did they know anything about the end of the story? Seems not, and so what did they do Saturday? It's a story of pain, heartache, politics, and beautiful, thick symbolism. I felt this as a kid and always made a point of praying a lot on Good Friday-- I even had my own kind of rituals, which I've now forgotten. I wondered where all the other Christians were on the anniversary of Christ's death. Perhaps they were dyeing eggs, or stuffing plastic eggs with jelly beans. But I waited, thinking that if there was a god (I was only half convinced, despite my dedication to the story) I'd see the skies darken, if only for a minute, that god must mark his mourning somehow-- wouldn't any father?
with much love and contemplation on this strangest, most intriguing of Christian holidays,