It’s that time of year again, the time for celebrating
Jesus’ death and resurrection at church and on TV.
The Jesus story has, no doubt, created an astonishing ripple
on the planetary pond of consensus human consciousness.
In the ensuing confusion over that ripple, untold millions
have splashed around and literally killed each other
in the name of God, but the pond just absorbs them,
perhaps turning a disturbing shade of red now and then
when the blood festivities reach a fever pitch.
Maybe that’s why marketers would rather have us focus
on smiley hopping bunnies and chocolate eggs at Easter,
downplaying the gory crucifixion details in lieu of the shiny
sanitized resurrection sequel, replete with a sunny day
ascension into everlasting glory, and gaily dressed children
eagerly hunting the fertility symbols that have been scattered
all over their backyard lawns by parents with camera phones.
Jesus is reported to have strolled upon that stormy pond
and preached, “Love one another as I have loved you.”
Fine advice, but when we look around at the world
since then, we might be tempted to wonder,
“Where is the love?”
Moreover, where do the rolling ripples go?
Maybe that’s what our cacophonous human history is —
a shimmering ripple on a pond, ending at last in stillness.
Stillness is fine, it’s calm and serene,
and many brave souls are asleep in the deep.
On the other hand, maybe the pond itself is
more like a dreamy figment of our imagination,
perhaps like our special personal version of Jesus?
When we dream, sometimes it might seem
as if we are drowning, but when we wake up,
we find that we’re not even wet.
We were just walking on water, like Jesus.
Sometimes the pond is dark, although
what appears in the dark can be a kind of light.
Just so, my hand is reaching up from that pond,
waving a palm frond of light.
When I lose myself in the source of that light,
it will seem as if I was never there,
as if Jesus was never there.
No pond, no ripple, no Jesus, no mind —
just a small flash of shine in a black lacquer night.