Thursday, October 28, 2021

The Collapse LXXXVI: Easter

13 April 20XX+1

My Dear Lucilius:

I am writing this to you on Easter Evening. Strangely enough, for the first time in almost a year, I can say my heart is full.

Easter morning was again spent at church. The weather, it seems, was willing to join in the for the event, evincing a truly Spring-like quality we may not regularly see for a bit more around here. There may or may not have even been birds singing as I walked the quarter mile or so to the service.

Like last week, the service was full again (Apparently, all it took to fill the proverbial pews again was a complete economic and societal collapse. Who knew.). People had even made an attempt to wear some sort of Easter finery, as was common in the days when I was growing up, before we had abandoned some level of formality for an almost constant sense of being “comfortable”. To be fair, it was not the same as it was once upon a time, but enough of an effort was made by enough people (perhaps even by your author) to make it noticeable.

The sermon, like Palm Sunday, is usually some version of a similar sermon one has heard all one’s life: after all, as the most important day in Christianity and concerning a Singular Event, this has been pretty well covered for 2000 years or so and little new or novel is probably ever said any more (or expected).

But it had a poignancy Lucilius, a poignancy I had not remembered in recent years. The reminder of the days leading up to this event – the darkness of Good Friday and a Saturday which we have never really named (perhaps because it was too depressing) followed by the glorious Resurrection – were a stark reminder for everyone in that service. In a way, we have lived through the “Good Friday” of a societal collapse and now find ourselves in that nameless Saturday, waiting for a Sunday Resurrection that we may never see.

Following the service, I found myself (again) at the house of Stateira for (another) brunch. I assure that this was not my suggestion or intention at all; I had a fine day of solitude and reading planned (like many of my other days of solitude and reading, which in some form or fashion is now every day). But Xerxes and Stateira insisted: it was a shame, they said, for anyone to spend Easter alone.

(The problem with young people, Lucilius, is that they are just so insistent and refuse to take “no” for an answer.)

And so I walked home, found (yet) more honey I could bring as a contribution, and walked the half mile back.

The meal was largely a repeat of the previous week, reflecting to a great extent what we can get anymore: steak, eggs, pickled vegetables, home baked bread, yet more coffee (reminding me how much I shall miss it when it is gone), and another sweet potato pie. Someone had brought in shoots of asparagus for consumption; it was nice to see that even with the year we have had, in some ways Nature continues on as if nothing had happened.

Conversation before and after was, as before, genial – with a twist: for one day, no-one seemed to mention anything that had happened or might happened. As if by common unspoken consent, all had agreed that for a single day we would speak of nothing but the here and now.

Stateira’s mother, as it turns out, used to have rabbits as pets once upon a time. We had a rather pleasant conversation on the foibles of our lapin friends as well as other areas which in some cases, we seem to share common interests (she, too, has an interest in 19th Century Russian authors).

It was a good day, a day that fills me with a warm glow as I write to you this evening. It is not that anything has changed – the power is still off and the reality of a great deal more work preparing for the food supply is in order and the course of events around us is still unknown – but given all of that, the fact that we can still enjoy a day of God and food and pleasant conversation makes things seems a little less concerning than they likely are.

19th Century Russian authors. As Humphrey Bogart’s character Rick says in Casablanca, “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world…”

Your Obedient Servant, Seneca


6 comments:

  1. This is my kind of new normal.

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    1. Leigh, one recalls the words that J.R.R Tolkien put into the mouth of Thorin Oakenshield: "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

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  2. Very good update, TB.
    You all be safe and God bless!

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  3. Catholics call it "Holy Saturday." No one's allowed into the church until midnight mass for Easter. Very solemn.

    What will really come into play in the near future is not "what you have" as much as "who you're with..."

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    1. Pete - I literally had no idea it had a name. Thank you.

      Indeed, the sheep and goats are coming more quickly than we know...

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