Not easily...

For the last week I have been LOVING this poem by Jack Gilbert. It feels honest, hopeful, tender and real to me - so I share it with you as part of this week's Lenten journey through Holy Week.

When we get beyond beauty and pleasure,
to the other side of the heart (but short
of the spirit), we are confused about what
to do next. It is too easy to say arriving
is enough. To pretend the music
of the mountain needs only to be heard.
That the dance is known by the dancing,
and the lasagne is realized by eating it.
Not in this place on the other side
of desire. We can swim in the Aegean,
but we can't take it home. A man finds
a melon by the road and continues up
the hill thinking it is the warm melon
that will remain after he has forgotten
the ruins and sea of the summer. He tells
himself this even as the idea of the taste
is replacing what the melon tasted like.

Isn't that perfect? "He tells himself this even as the idea of the taste is replacing what the melon tasted like." This is what it looks like outside my window - a hint of the beauty to come - but I've already forgotten it...
Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday - an odd day for most Protestants - as we fixate on the death of the Lord rather than his call to become servants. I guess it is hard for all of us to embrace the invitation to quit being in control. But what I find is that all too often we forget that the death of Jesus is just a part or consequence of his servanthood, but never the goal.

The goal is life - in abundance - the goal is grace and joy... and all too often we fetishize this death - and then sentimentalize it - and then forget it about it until late Holy Week rolls around again. Here is another one of those both/and tunes by my boys, U2, called "God: Part II" which was Bono's reply to his rock and roll mentor, John Lennon's, anti-God rant. I'm with Bono... I believe in love - and grace - and the joy of love in real life amidst the sorrow... even when I can't always remember.


Rev Nancy Fitz said…
nicely put! We have our Love Feast with feetwashing tomorrow to remind us with our postures and tender knees that Jesus really was about serving not dying. thanks, we'll talk more when life slows (hopefully) down a bit.
Cosmo said…
Yes, we are Easter Sunday people, but as I read this week, the resurrection follows the crucifixion; but it doesn't erase it.

The life of Jesus, his attitude of service, his death and resurrection are all linked - as it is with us if we are to 'take up our cross' and follow him.

Blessings this Easter.
RJ said…
You, too, my dear sister and brothe.

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