Academic journal article TriQuarterly

The Week after Easter

Academic journal article TriQuarterly

The Week after Easter

Article excerpt

Saturday. Suburban funeral. Emerging into skimpy April sun, "of course what all this means is vertical," said my companion. She sketched a swift diagonal from heaven to hell -

gesture that left it up to me to trace the arc in my imagination. Golden forsythia haloed half the place, but close up something dark was in slow motion: a receiving line, inching along. All this was horizontal. She was wrong.

Lift up your heart, the funeral mass advised. My heart slid sideways as I eyed each face - so many terrestrial creatures poised at a mortal crossroads. East or west - which way were we to head, buttonholed by the living and the dead?

One bee last Sunday, drunk with its success, negotiated blossoms in the park where I was stretched out motionless in blazing sun; who woke up in the dark Monday morning to tattoos of hail, magnolia blossoms battered in the gale.

Dramatic weather? Just a pale reflection of Holy Week's impassioned allegory. Hot on the heels of the Crucifixion, the Resurrection salvages the story and rescues history. Last yields to first, the best redeemed - enabled - by the worst. …

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