During Lent the phrase retrieve lament captured me through the words of Rilke. During the Great Fifty Days of Easter, it's the lovable contrarian Wendell Berry exhorting my imagination with two words (plus many more): Practice resurrection.
Easter “ought to be an eight-day festival, with champagne served after morning prayer or even before…"I went back to my copy of Surprised by Hope and found the context for that wild suggestion (and, believe me, come Monday morning, I was searching for any last drops of our Easter lunch champagne!) Here's more:
"... we should be taking steps to celebrate Easter in creative new ways: in art, literature, children's games, poetry, music, dance, festivals, bells, special concerts, anything that comes to mind. this is our greatest festival....This is our greatest day. We should put the flags out.
...if Lent is a time to give things up, Easter ought to be a time to take things up. Champagne for breakfast again -- well, of course....The forty days of the Easter season, until the ascension, ought to be a time to balance out Lent by taking something up, some new task or venture, something wholesome and fruitful and outgoing and self-giving. You may be able to do it only for six weeks, just as you may be able to go without beer or tobacco only for the six weeks of Lent. But if you really make a start on it, it might give you a sniff of new possibilities, new hopes, new ventures you never dreamed of. It might bring something of Easter into your innermost life..."The past two days -- in between sips of champagne -- I've dreamed up ways to celebrate -- practice, even -- Resurrection with you my dear blog readers. After we meditated and storied lament, how might we make much of the festal Easter hope?
Here's my idea: For the next six-ish weeks we'll celebrate taking up new things. With N.T. Wright and Wendell Berry for inspiration, I'll invite some guest posts from people I admire for the things they know how to do that I do not (and maybe you don't either) and for the ways they practice resurrection in their everyday lives.
But that's not all! I want you to play along from home. Take something up and share it with us. Maybe a six week dance class? We want you to show us a picture. Planting spring flowers (maybe a new variety this year)? Show us! Taking a new route to work (maybe taking more time than necessary in honor of the mad farmer)? Share it!
Three steps to play along:
- Take up something new. (one day or fifty days doesn't matter, just one thing that's new to you)
- Take a picture and write a description in 50 words or less.
- Share it with me via an email or facebook message (for now. I'm working on one or two other ways you can share with us.) I'll come up with a fun way to share your photo-story with everyone here each week.
Who's in with me?
Best place I can think to start is to sit with the mad farmer and a cup of tea.