Friday, March 25, 2005

Happy Good Friday

In New York City whole businesses are shut down and all the Christian schools are on holiday.

The people at the Design Department for Stage and Film at NYU are surprised to learn that New York observes Good Friday as a holiday more than the midwest, but I tell them that no secular business in Louisville that I know of would close in observance of the day.

I am surprised that a theater school isn't closed in observance. Theater of the Western World has its origin with dramatic enactments of rolling the rock from the tomb and finding Jesus gone.

I think the Passion story is at the center of all great stories.

Good Friday is my favorite holiday next to Thanksgiving. It's as close to Yom Kippur as I ever got from the Catholics, and I motivated myself to atonement by wrapping my Friday The 13th horror skillz around the idea of the final moments of Jesus' mission. I get the good eye from this and every year examining the details yeilds different results. I've only once experienced a Good Friday without rain and I've been paying attention since I was in the single digits.

On the flipside, I think Easter is a powerful moment to be a part of, but theologically speaking it is one of the biggest confoundments the christian man ever gave himself. It's like the great novel put in the hands of a Hollywood producer. The people want a happy ending. Don't leave them on a downnote and for god's sake, don't give them anything to reflect upon! They've got to work in the morning! (Some of them already took Friday off for Chrissake!) Everytime I see an Easter Pageant I think of man's great capacity to be obsessively attentive in meditating on the human predicament and so ready to honor it by injesting helium from bright balloons and show one's tits. Don't get me wrong - I love it. I celebrate this truth every Easter with a community of people who don't think they are insane acting like complete lunatics. We break bread. No one is sure why. It is real.

Pulling Jesus from the cave = rabbit from the hat. Shake in your seat and clap and say YAY because it IS magic.

Happy Easter.


anne said...

happy easter, ray. i was at notre dame in paris for good friday this year and heard a powerful dramatic reading of the stations of the cross (in french) accompanied by the cathedral's organ during the interludes. it reminded me why people are catholic.

my favorite christian holiday is very much in this vein -- ash wednesday. each year (for the past five, anyway), i smear my forehead with ashes from my burned house. if i lose points in terms of orthodoxy, i sure as hell gain them in terms of spirituality. personal death and resurrection. a sort of momento mori ...

liked your thoughts both on good friday and easter. especially the happy ending element of the latter. all natural stories end on good friday.

Ray said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Anne.


Thanks for making me think on this. It adds whole new dimensions for me.

In regards to your particular ash stash, "othodoxy schmorthodoxy". (I think Sinatra said that first and when you've loved and lost as Frankie did...)

Spring in France. Ho-lee shit.