renewal


POSTCARD #259: New Delhi: Humbling to think Easter is all marshmallow bunnies and chocolate eggs in the North when, for the ancients, it was a time endowed with meaning. Sometimes I feel a deep part of me responds to this pre-language mystery of the stars and phases of the moon. A Buddhist interpretation of Easter could be Suffering and the End of suffering. An emergence into new life, perhaps. The festival occupies the place where the Pagan goddess Ēastre used to be, and the Spring Equinox predates everything.

According to ancient Maori tradition in the Southern hemisphere, the first new moon after the rise of Matariki star cluster Pleaides, signals the start of the Maori New Year (I know this because my Thai niece M is there on a 7 week English program). Easter is the Thai New Year, Songkran, and in every other culture in the world the Spring festival is a time of change and renewal. The Frangipani tree in our small garden begins to blossom (image above), a sign the winter cold and darkness in North India is at an end.

And on a darker note, because this is our reality, President Trump’s monstrous bomb on Afghanistan, the day before Good Friday says something about the assertive Western world. We don’t know, of course, if it was the intention but the darkness of Good Friday coming towards light on Easter Monday, fits with the parody of Trump’s actions these last few days… posturing before the eyes of the world as superhero, stirring up the fundamentalist sense of retribution.

Is it the intention to have the Churches in North America, over this Easter weekend, include this as part of the imagery preceding the Christian awakening? Or maybe it’s intended to have the Islamic world see it that way. Darkness with no sign of light…

“I’d be glad of a retaliation that wouldn’t recoil on myself; but treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends: they wound those who resort to them, worse than their enemies.” [Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights]

25 thoughts on “renewal

  1. Happy Easter and happy Spring and happy Vernal Equinox! Yes, Trump, so upsetting! Delusions of grandeur ignite his military actions. I have nightmares of being in the midst of war here. Not too far from the possibilities…

    • Happy Easter Ellen, but yes it must be quite worrying for you there in NYC. Here we are with Trump’s brinkmanship in the danger zone, saying: look I can do this! Diplomacy shot to pieces…

  2. Happy Easter Tiramit, with hugs! I enjoyed your post, a lot to think about. Possibly the biggest worry at the moment is North Korea threatening retaliation if the U.S get aggressive (dear Mr trump with a small T again). Heaven knows where that would go.

    I think I’ve become almost immune to the world troubles, ghastly as they are, which is sad, but my philosophy is: ‘If I can’t help, and I can’t change it, then better concentrate on small things where I can do some good. The older I get the more I shrink away from the world and its power struggles, and the souped-up, super-fast, must-have ways of western society. I think there’s about as much chance of peace in the world as there is of a large white bunny turning up on my doorstep and handing me a chocolate egg! Must be getting cynical in my old age!

    • Well, Happy Days to you too Jude
      Your description, ‘the souped-up, super-fast, must-have ways of western society’ is something I shrink away from too. Yeap the truth of it is as you say, the world is in awe of a possible confrontation between impossibly gold headed trump and him with the haircut in N Korea, stand-off in a cowboy movie; gunfight at the OK corral, meanwhile these Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs enter and leave the scene from time to time. This is where diplomacy steps in, I suppose easily said for me here far away from selected targets within range…

  3. I really learned a lot reading your Easter post. I must have known some of this, but much came as a surprise. Raised Protestant, converted to Judaism after my husband and I married, and now identifying as a Buddhist, I haven’t known what to make of Easter. For today, my memories take me to the Easter baskets I received as a child, and the joy of searching for the colored eggs in the grass outside and behind the potted plants and table legs in the house. I then did the same for my son, who is now an adult with children of his own. Somehow this memory brings me much joy. In response to your words, and as an American citizen, I apologize for what is being done in our names around the globe these days. I can hardly believe we now have such a president who mocks and struts and tweets as he does. May goodness preserve us all!

    • Hi Sunny
      This is it, we lose the meanings of things as the decades roll along. Spiritual symbols become chocolate eggs and fun things. A long time ago I used to stay with an Anglican vicar in East London, a friend of a friend. When Easter came it was a very complex and lengthy event. I learned all about how serious it is from Good Friday through until Easter Monday then everything is joyful. Learning by doing. So I was fortunate to have that experience, it helped me become a Buddhist 🙂 As for Trump strutting and tweeting and doing all kinds of ruffled feather displays on the doorstep of the North Koreans. And the same thing coming from Kim Jong-un, it would seem, well if we’re all going to be at the brink of extinction by this time next week, I’m okay about that, let it go, let it be. It’s all about politics, I’m thinking, but I could be wrong…

  4. From a Cosmic perspective, the little rumblings on the tiny blue sphere can not even be heard on its own moon. That is how ultimately meaningless this is.
    Sure, there could be fear for a mortal that looks upon these things as a threat.
    Lightning in a cloud, bubbles in a stream, so are all things, fleeting.
    I take my cues from the Jay and deer and the trout.
    Our lives are immediately before us.
    We cannot be distracted by the flashes of supernovas.

    Seek peace,

    Paz

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