Two weeks ago, we'd have been getting ready to go to the airport to make our way to Hawaii. Because we knew we'd be leaving early, we didn't go to Maundy Thursday services. Because we were in the air all day, we didn't go to Good Friday services.
But because the stream of the liturgical year is always moving below the rocks of my regular day, I was aware of what I was missing. I did my own recognition of the holy days, but it was strange to observe them alone.
Wendy has a post about flunking Lent. I flunked Holy Week. Or maybe I just made a D.
On Maundy Thursday, I did have communal meals, but nothing like some Maundy Thursday meals I've had in the past (the occasional Seder, the pot luck dinner). A group of work friends went to lunch in our work neighborhood; someone paid for our lunch, including the to-go lunches that we were taking back to colleagues who couldn't leave their desks. That would have been strange any day, but it felt especially weighted with meaning on Maundy Thursday.
On Maundy Thursday evening, while the rest of the Christian world washed feet and stripped altars, we shared a simple meal of hamburgers with a friend and then did our final packing. Again, our activities fit a Maundy Thursday theme in a way, but a strange way.
We got up early on Good Friday and made our way to the airport. We waited for our first flight, and one of our fellow travelers told us about his recent heart attack and renewed life: an Easter story!
In the Dallas airport, an announcement invited us all to the chapel for a Good Friday service, but didn't tell us where the chapel was. I wondered if the worship planners did what they would normally do, or if a Good Friday service in an airport chapel would be substantially different.
And then we got on the plane for our almost 9 hour flight to Hawaii. I thought about all the mortifications of the body that a long flight requires. I won't go as far as to call it a crucifixion; I'm very clear about the agony involved in that punishment.
We flew west, so the falling of the night was always behind us. I'd love to be the kind of person who sleeps on a plane, but even on overnight flights, I have trouble. On a flight where the sun doesn't set, it's even harder.
We ended Good Friday sitting by a pool under the light of the full moon. We drank tropical drinks and ate fried chicken. Even my best poet self can't make that experience fit into a Good Friday theme.
It's strange to be in the Easter season, having missed Holy Week and having had a very simple Easter. I like Wendy's assertion: "Now it’s Eastertide, a new season, a new day, a new opportunity. I am trying to practice creativity this Easter. I am following Christine Valters Paintner’s book The Artist’s Rule, and seeing what I can do over this season to be contemplative and creative. So far I am at a brilliant so-so."
A brilliant so-so--at least it's better than flunking!
feeling the feelings…
6 months ago