It’s a rainy afternoon, one of many we’ve had over the past few months. One of the consequences of that is that our lawn is greening and growing even faster than usual. We’ve already had to have it mowed twice this season, but it makes me happy to think that life continues to thrive even in strange times. And of course, it fits nicely with Easter’s promise of the Resurrection as well. (Yes, I’m fully aware of the links between this most sacred Christian holiday and the various fertility traditions that culminate at this time of year — I’m a Northrop Frye devotee, after all. But I believe, and I still believe.)
Today is also Mrs. M’s birthday, marking the start of the six months each year that she and I are the same age. Because of the current situation, we’ve been able to see more of each other in recent weeks than we normally would in the school year. Both of us are passionate about the work we do, and it’s easy for each of us to get sidetracked from one another during those times. But now, as we spend more time in each other’s company, I think it has given us the chance to see the things we enjoy about each other.
I’ve mentioned before that one of the positive things that came in the aftermath of my parents’ deaths was that the experience made the three of us — Mrs. M, the Spawn, and Your Genial Host — more strongly connected and interdependent. We were pushed to new frontiers, and while there were strains, we were also strengthened. The Spawn is in Terpville now, of course, but we’ll hear from her later today, as we all celebrate her mom’s birthday.
And I do. Happy birthday, Deb. I love you.
Another way in which the year’s rhythms continue even in bizarre circumstances is that Gradeapalooza is drawing near again. I’ll be receiving annotated bibliographies from the Freshpeeps tomorrow, building to their research papers. Likewise, my upper levels are working on research assignments or creative portfolios. This won’t quite finish my pre-sabbatical period; I’m teaching two classes in the first summer term, and we’ve been informed that those classes will be entirely online. I’m okay with that — it’ll be a reasonable weaning from the classroom. But not yet.
I’ll wrap things up with a little something from the legendary Texas psychedelicists the 13th Floor Elevators. Their 1967 second album, considered a classic of the psych genre, was called Easter Everywhere. Despite the title, the band did not consider it to be exclusively Christian, taking a more syncretic approach to the idea of rebirth and resurrection, which they saw as available to all. As the band’s ringleader/jug player, Tommy Hall noted:
Well, [the title] comes from the idea of Christ Consciousness. And realizing that you can be born again; that you can constantly change and be reformed into a better and better person. It’s like a progressive perfection, and Easter Everywhere is sort of the combination or culmination of this idea as echoed in the public. It’s like everyone is snapping to this; that there is a middle ground between the Eastern trip and the Western trip, and that is by learning to use your emotion and realizing what emotion is and why it is there and how to control it from a pleasure point of view so that you don’t get hung up in a down place. It’s just the idea of rising from the dead all over, everywhere.
In any case, what with the birthday and all, this seems like a nice fit for the day. This is “She Lives (In a Time of Her Own).”
See you soon!