Good Friday

    April 15, 2022

    Finding Home

    By Dr. Jan Peppler

    Two years ago, I celebrated Easter in Sicily, in a country-wide Covid lockdown in an apartment looking out at the Tyrrhenian Sea, listening to Handel’s Messiah and hearing it differently than I had in all my years.

    The trumpet shall sound… and we shall be changed.
    Over and over again during those first months of the pandemic, it was said that things will never be the same. In every article and every posting was a claim of a new normal – a release from the insanity of over-working capitalism and the destruction of our Earth. In this imposed period of rest, it was said, we were being renewed and the earth was too. Wisdom would prevail. We would return to what was truly important: family, community, nature, peace. The fundamental necessities.

    Two years later and mass genocide is happening live on TV. War is raining down destroying cities. The rich have gotten richer and corporations—those for-profit machines with more rights than people—are hijacking our economy.

    Have we learned anything? Has anything truly changed?

    Except that maybe perhaps we are hurting in new ways. More insidious is the ache, the numbing pain, the precipice of despair.

    In all this, I offer you the wisdom of Wendell Berry. Mr. Berry is a literary savant. More than that, he would tell you, he is a farmer, having farmed his entire life in Port Royal, Kentucky. His connection to the land informs everything: his faith, his relationships, his activism, and his writing.

    The following poem was first published in the 1970s and I only discovered it around 2006. Since then, it has been my annual Easter poem, to be read at every Easter gathering I have hosted and attended. The message is more salient now than ever.

    Be joyful even though you have considered the facts.
    Practice resurrection.

    I was going to wait until Sunday morning to publish this post, but I can’t shake the feeling that now, in these last days of Holy Week, is when we need this reminder. Not to be glossed over in the joy of Easter but instead pondered in the weight of death – to foster the understanding of our interconnectedness. Spring is all the more sweet because we have endured Winter. And sweeter still when we participate in it and not simply observe it.

    Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front  by Wendell Berry

    Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
    vacation with pay. Want more
    of everything ready-made. Be afraid
    to know your neighbors and to die.
    And you will have a window in your head.
    Not even your future will be a mystery
    any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
    and shut away in a little drawer.
    When they want you to buy something
    they will call you. When they want you
    to die for profit they will let you know.
    So, friends, every day do something
    that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
    Love the world. Work for nothing.
    Take all that you have and be poor.
    Love someone who does not deserve it.
    Denounce the government and embrace
    the flag. Hope to live in that free
    republic for which it stands.
    Give your approval to all you cannot
    understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
    has not encountered he has not destroyed.
    Ask the questions that have no answers.
    Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
    Say that your main crop is the forest
    that you did not plant,
    that you will not live to harvest.
    Say that the leaves are harvested
    when they have rotted into the mold.
    Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
    Put your faith in the two inches of humus
    that will build under the trees
    every thousand years.
    Listen to carrion — put your ear
    close, and hear the faint chattering
    of the songs that are to come.
    Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
    Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
    though you have considered all the facts.
    So long as women do not go cheap
    for power, please women more than men.
    Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
    a woman satisfied to bear a child?
    Will this disturb the sleep
    of a woman near to giving birth?
    Go with your love to the fields.
    Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
    in her lap. Swear allegiance
    to what is nighest your thoughts.
    As soon as the generals and the politicos
    can predict the motions of your mind,
    lose it. Leave it as a sign
    to mark the false trail, the way
    you didn’t go.
    Be like the fox
    who makes more tracks than necessary,
    some in the wrong direction.
    Practice resurrection.

    Buona Pasqua. A blessed and contemplative Easter, dear friends.

     

    Posted by dayle at 1:57 pm
    Filed in: Café Communication

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