A drift of fragrant petals, a bench, a quiet invitation to unwind, and let go. Escape
Tomorrow is Ukrainian Orthodox Easter. Khrystos voskres! is the greeting you give your friends and relatives. (Christ is risen!) It’s like a little ritual. Then the gentlemen kiss you three times on the cheek. A lovely spring greeting.
The photo is of a madonna created by artist Oksana Mas. It is created entirely of “pysanki” the Ukrainian traditional Easter Egg. It is installed at St. Sophia’s in Kyiv, Ukraine. She has done many installations, and I find them fascinating.
When I was a girl we’d color eggs with vinegar and food coloring, or those little kits you got from the grocery store. My grandmother would tell me of the beautiful eggs from the old days, but I didn’t see them until I was older and met someone who made them. He made one for me and I carried it with me for a long time. I had heard there was a tradition that the pysanki carried the luck of the house. A piece of fragile luck, indeed. My “luck” broke during a move to South Dakota.
Since moving to this part of the world I see elaborate eggs, everywhere. I even have a collection of them. Some are dyed, some painted, some are fragile eggs, some are wooden, they are wrapped in ribbon and wire. Each a little piece of beauty. I have found them in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Romania. I’m told you can tell the region it’s from by the design, but I am not that much of an expert, but they do speak to me of the need to create, to express yourself, and bring beauty into your home. Even if that art, that beauty is created on a humble egg.
Here’s wishing you beauty and peace on this lovely Easter Saturday.
One thing that totally irritates me is forced intimacy. I don’t mean sexual intimacy, although forced sexual intimacy would be a whole different topic. What I’m talking about is the “hon”, “dear” and even “sis” or “sister” that people might claim. The whole idea that I might be your “sister” based on some shared interest or shared belief just boggles my mind. To me that word carries power, meaning. And to fling it about so casually, attaching it to people you’ve just met, is just ridiculous. So, I wrote this little piece. And since I had nothing else written, and I’m determined to write every day, I will share this bit of prose:
Are you my sister?
Have you held me in your arms at the side of a dirt road as my world crumbled into glittering pieces at my feet?
Have you heard the scream of utter despair that rose from somewhere deep in my wounded soul, and still held on?
Have you washed the stiff blood from my hair, fighting the tightening in your belly at the sight and the smell, but still, carefully, and with love, worked till the blood was gone?
Have you left home, and family, and husband to sit in an old rocker beside the couch where I lay, for three days, dead to the world, horrified, shocked, numb, and each of you in turn came, and sat, demanding nothing but that I walk through that pain, and emerge to your embrace on the other side?
Have you held my face in your hands and looked into my eyes and seen the pain and darkness there and not turned away?
Have you put raw wool into my hands, and shown me how to card, so that mindlessly I could pull and straighten the wool while the pain of such horrendous betrayal clawed at my heart and soul?
Have you danced with me in the woods, laughing and singing, and shared the cup in perfect love and perfect trust?
Truly, the women who answer yes to these questions are my sister. To call any other “sister” or to allow them to call me “sister” belittles what these women have done for me. It takes away from who they have been, and continue to be, in my life.
A sister is one who walks through the fire with you, knowing she too will be burned, but faces that pain, with quiet courage, and takes your hand, and steps into the flames.
Are you my sister?