Easter Day

Apr. 17th, 2017 12:13 am
lillibet: (Default)
[personal profile] lillibet
Lately, Sundays have become especially busy. If I only have two or three events on my calendar for a Sunday, that's a pretty easy-going day--sometimes there are five. Perhaps because of that, today felt only moderately busy.

I was surprised to find, as Easter approached, that I was thinking of my mother more than usual. It felt so strange to be planning for the day without figuring out how to include her. Perhaps it's because for her it was still a very religious holiday, or just because I have so many memories, so many pictures of us all gathered in the sunshine in our Sunday best, with her tucked between her giant girls.

This year I actually wondered if we had to celebrate Easter as a family. And then I thought sure, keeping the tradition of getting the family together a few times a year is no bad thing. I wondered if I might turn to my sisters and ask what plan they might come up with that didn't involve my house, or me cooking. And I thought about hiring a chef, which I've done a few times, or going to a restaurant. But in the end I decided that I did want to cook and to gather family and friends around the table.

The day started early, getting to First Parish by 8am so we would have time to eat breakfast there and practice our skit before the choir gathered at 8:30. Jo and I were performing a piece based on The Yellow Tutu, with narration by our fabulous DRE and some mean-girl assistance from members of the choir. It was short and sweet and involved the indelible image of the two of us dancing in front of the congregation wearing tutus on our heads.

Our minister had asked us to wear silly hats and I'd decided to get this blue fascinator, which was an utter hoot to wear. The adult and children's choirs collaborated on "Easter Bonnet" and we sang lots of joyful hymns. We also did a responsive reading that I found really moving, adapted from a sermon by Nadia Bolz-Weber:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the agnostics.
Blessed are those who aren't sure, and those who can still be surprised.
Blessed are they who are not so certain about everything that they no longer take in new information.
Blessed are they who know there has to be more than this.
Because they are right.

Blessed are those who mourn.
Blessed are they for whom death is not an abstraction.
Blessed are they who have buried their loved ones, for whom tears are as real as an ocean.
Blessed are they who have loved enough to know what loss feels like.
Blessed are the mothers of the miscarried.
Blessed are they who don't have the luxury of taking things for granted any more.
Blessed are they who can't fall apart because they have to keep it together for everyone else.
Blessed are the motherless, the alone, the ones from whom so much has been taken.
Blessed are those who "still aren't over it yet."
Blessed are those who laughed again, when for so long they thought they never would.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who no one else notices.
The kid who sits alone at middle-school lunch tables.
The laundry guys at the hospital.
The sex workers and the night shift street sweepers.
Blessed are the losers and the babies and the parts of ourselves that are so small.
The parts of ourselves that don't want to make eye contact with a world that only loves the winners.
Blessed are the forgotten.
Blessed are the closeted.
Blessed are the unemployed, the unimpressive, the underrepresented.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
Blessed are the wrongly accused, the ones who never catch a break, the ones for whom life is hard.
Blessed are those without documentation.
Blessed are the ones without lobbyists.
Blessed are the foster kids and trophy kids and special ed kids and every kid who just wants to feel safe and loved and doesn't.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are those who make terrible business decisions for the sake of people.
Blessed are the burnt-out social workers and the over-worked teachers and the pro-bono case takers.
Blessed are the kids who step between the bullies and the weak.
Blessed are they who delete hateful, homophobic comments off their friend's Facebook page.
Blessed is everyone who has ever forgiven me when I didn't deserve it.

Blessed are the merciful for they totally get it.

During her invocation for communion, Marta also gave us a chance to speak the names of the dead who were in our thoughts today and I was so grateful for the chance to say my mother's name, to invoke the presence that has been hovering over me this week.

Alice had a grand time in the Easter Egg Hunt--her first year in the graveyard with the big kids. We stayed for the first part of the second service, in which Alice was one of the readers, while Jason and I reprised our performances, and then snuck out. The car said it was 82F as we pulled out and I was dreading turning on the oven for dinner. But while I took a nap, Jason turned on the AC and it was actually pleasant inside throughout the day. Alice found her Easter basket and seemed to enjoy the various treats and toys I'd included in it.

While Jason de-cluttered and got the dining room set for dinner, I roasted the lamb that had been marinating since yesterday, on top of potatoes, onions, mushrooms and garlic, which I seved with a very tasty demi-glace. I made way too many deviled eggs, with the help of Lisa, Paulo, and George at various points. Beckie & Neil brought the traditional too-much-nosh (shrimps and cheeses and summer sausage and pate and olives, oh my!). Anne & G. brought Greek-style braised green beans and I made a chopped Greek salad and heated up some Hawaiian rolls that miraculously survived several months in the freezer to be wonderfully soft and tasty. Dave and Jo collaborated to decorate the spiced carrot chiffon cake I had made yesterday with honey-cream cheese ice cream and pecans. By the time Hatem got out of work and could join us, we were just about ready to put it all on the table.

The food was reasonably good (not the best I've ever managed, but no one complained) and it seemed like an especially good group of people and conversations. Jo and Beckie helped enormously with the clean-up and by the time everyone had left around 5:30, another half hour got the kitchen to a state where I felt I could leave it. So I took another short nap, rising in time to be awake when the Mourning Becomes Electra arrived for a line-thru of the whole show.

I was able to do the whole thing without my script, though I did get confused and have to call "line" a couple of times. I felt pretty good about it and most other people are also in pretty good shape. This is going to be a really powerful show and there are a lot of dark moments, but we had fun together and it was really nice to be in a room with most of the cast, since that hasn't happened much yet. Jason got Alice to bed during one of the stretches when he's not on stage, but I was able to pop up and kiss her goodnight.

The cast and crew took off and after a break, it was time to finish up the kitchen and get the garbage, recycling, and compost to the curb. And now, I think I can say that I am well and truly done. I'm very excited that Alice doesn't have school in the morning.

Date: 2017-04-17 09:39 am (UTC)
gale_storm: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gale_storm
Thank you for listing the beatitudes, as they struck chords in me where I wouldn't have known where to strike, possibly ending up a jumbled mess! Okay, then again, maybe not, but they were a welcome read, and I'm going to bookmark them for later perusal as well.

Oh! And the spiced carrot chiffon cake you mention sounds beyond amazing, and I would love a recipe, if you could or would. Thank you again!

Date: 2017-04-18 04:01 pm (UTC)
gale_storm: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gale_storm
Thanks for the recipe link! Oddly enough, I'd done a search for such a cake recipe and came across that very one. Man, that sounds incrediblly good!

Date: 2017-04-18 04:05 pm (UTC)
gale_storm: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gale_storm
Oh, and your fascinator looks really cool, and I find it surprising that I'm even saying that about the frippingest of fripperies! :D

Date: 2017-04-17 11:10 am (UTC)
gingicat: drawing of me based on wedding photo (Default)
From: [personal profile] gingicat
I'm glad it turned out to be a good day.

Date: 2017-04-17 03:34 pm (UTC)
ceelove: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ceelove
Great hat!

Because it is small, blue, intricate, and yours, it reminds me of the lamp you once passed along to me, saying that you hoped it would be in a public place and so seen by many. I haven't thought to tell you since that it is - for years now, it's been lighting my massage space.

Date: 2017-04-17 08:40 pm (UTC)
sovay: (I Claudius)
From: [personal profile] sovay
Our minister had asked us to wear silly hats and I'd decided to get this blue fascinator, which was an utter hoot to wear.

Do you have any pictures of you in it? It is a striking hat.

Date: 2017-04-18 03:30 am (UTC)
sovay: (I Claudius)
From: [personal profile] sovay
I don't love this photo, but here it is

Thank you. I think the hat definitely looked good on you.

Date: 2017-04-18 04:07 pm (UTC)
gale_storm: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gale_storm
Yeah, it does look good on you. And the three of you look great, too!
Edited Date: 2017-04-18 04:08 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-04-18 12:48 am (UTC)
bex77: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bex77
Thanks for all the work to keep the family tradition going!

Date: 2017-04-23 12:53 am (UTC)
muffyjo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] muffyjo
I found those beatitudes striking as well. So glad you recorded them. Thank you for including me in your holiday plans.

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