I seldom post on Saturdays anymore. Saturdays are sacred to me– the best day of the week and not a day to waste sitting in front of the computer screen trying to channel my inner and outer ditzes whilst trying to make some sort of sense of the mundaneness that surrounds me. I’d rather sit in front of the computer shopping online or reading gossip instead.
But this Saturday is kind of special. My euphemism has been threatening to come after a two-year absence, so I’ve been exceedingly uncomfortable. I slept badly –but that’s nothing special. Monsieur Meow whisked Herr Meow away to run some manner of manly errands and I’ve enjoyed some tedious aspects of beauty regimen, a bath AND a shower, and now… utter quiet. That is special.
And it snowed early this Saturday. It snowed. In April. A day before Easter Sunday –hallowed day of sugar and cute pastels– it has snowed.
I am still a neophyte when it comes to this whole snowing business, but I’m pretty sure it simply is not supposed to happen– or at least not in these latitudes. I remember the wise words of my dear friend Mr. PhD., who when he was stuck in his scholarly exile in upstate New York wrote to me many springs ago, "April snow brings May psychotics."
Back in my Moderato Cantabile California existence, I remember laughing and thinking he was being probably too dramatic, but I guess the phrase stuck with me.
And now I think about it as I see all those lovely cherry and redbud and magnolia blossoms, frozen in time. Still and watery, they have died too young. I think of others’ tragedies. I think of war. I think of how it’s April seventh, Holy Saturday, and how somewhere many many years ago, three humble women were mourning the violent and public death of a young man who was very dear to them.
He apparently was only 33. Maybe he was handsome; I mean, I say that because he had to have been definitely charming, and if I have learned one thing in this life is that it’s harder to be charismatic when you’re ugly. People certainly seemed to love this guy– I guess we will never know really who he was, but these big-picture details seem to stick around for so long and people are still totally talking about him and carrying on in his name. I’m thinking that he did exist, and that he must have been good-looking. As a matter of fact, I am betting Jesus was a hottie, and I am also thinking that it can’t be blasphemous to say that. I mean, as tacky as those renderings of the Sacred Heart are, you can’t deny that the original model (that is to say, the artist’s vision of Jesus) had to be at least moderately good-looking.
But the tragedy, at least on a day like today –before the miracle allegedly happened and he came back to life– is that this sweet and hot and popular and talented and… um… dreamy? Otherworldly? Totally smart and intelligent AND deep and caring and selfless guy is dead. (hello? Does this not read like a laundry list for a perfect man?)
Dead too soon, and in a horrible way, and while his mother watched.
I think of myself and of all the other mothers of boys –whose ranks I’ve joined– and I can’t help but think of how Mary had to have felt. Being a mother of a boy will always mean that you understand he is not as much yours as of the world: boys are usually more daring and free and less likely to listen, and they love to run away and explore and defy the rules. They tend to not stay put and hold tea parties like little girls do, usually, because, well… they are boys. And if they do come to your tea party, something usually ends up breaking.
I suddenly think of Mary helping her little son when he fell, or cleaning his scrapes. I think of her scolding him for climbing the tree she specifically told him not to climb. Or scolding him for not staying away from the temple, like she said he should.
And then I think of her personal heartbreak as a mother, having to see her baby hurt and wounded and tortured right before her eyes, over and over. I think of her, older and maybe frail, watching her son moan in pain and asking for water. She can’t do anything– she is just an old woman. Being a woman is insignificant enough, but "old" seals the deal.
I don’t want to imagine her sorrow. I don’t want to feel her pain. But somehow I am drawn to thinking about it and I can’t help but feel this oppressive weight on my chest– nothing like hers, I am sure, but still… that unspeakable sorrow, seemingly for no reason.
And I don’t know that I have enough faith in me to believe that someone’s tortured death is enough of a reason for anything.