Thursday, February 12, 2009

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Sometimes, we have no good, very bad days.

Even me.

It's true. Granted, my brother gave me a good ribbing yesterday about how I have no molehills - either I'm drinking milk, or crying because it's spilt, but not often in between.

But even those whose lives tend to be either sunshiny days or catastrophes, with little in between - sometimes we, too, have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. Or weeks.

The other day, I found myself curled on the floor, gazing up at a couple of my icons. Of Byzantine fashion, they portray Christ on the cross; the disciples on the highway to Emmaus; the Last Supper; and the Ascension. In particular, I gazed at Christ on the cross, and the disciples schlepping along the dusty road.

What do you do when the world presses in? When all news, it feels, is bad news, when friends and loved ones are losing jobs like there's no tomorrow, when the seasons are grinding gears between ice and mud, when stresses resemble a wobbling Jenga tower, when there's nothing more to do, or no energy to do it?

This is what I wrote for the "Good News" Facebook group today:

It seems to me that olive oil is making a comeback. Olive oil shampoo, moisturizers, lip balm; from Rachael Ray's "EVOO" to boutique bottles harvested by an elderly Italian couple on a remote farm, olive oil is, well, anointed.

"You anoint my head with oil..."

A lot of folks are feeling that the past year has been an accu
mulation of hard knocks from banging their heads against the wall. Savings have dried up, retirements vanished, security withered.
"My head is bloodied but unbowed..." Invictus: the ultimate assertion of human will against the heavens. Naked rebellion in an upturned face and a sneer: it is original sin, the curled fist shaking at the heavens.

Prepare, this Lent, to kneel at an altar, to offer your forehead as a canvas for oil and ash. The same forehead that's been banging against walls, lifted in self-will, revealing your plans and intentions - allow it to be painted with the burnt-out remnants of hum
an pride. Take the brow of Simon, and allow it to be molded into Peter.

"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust..."

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