Friday, March 21, 2008

It's good to have friends

I'm bringing Easter-type goodies on my trip so I can maximize the opportunity to spoil my Western nephews. This would imply the need for actual Easter baskets, but I couldn't figure out how I was going to pack multiples of such an oddly shaped, somewhat fragile item as a basket. The last time I was in Arizona I managed to get one basket there (a hostess gift stuffed with gourmet chocolate - blatant bribery at the time). But that was fairly difficult and severely limited my comfort and carry-on options. I just didn't think carrying on two or three baskets was an option, and I have a clear idea of what would happen to baskets in checked luggage. I've seen how suitcases can take flight all on their own in the hands of baggage handlers.

But then, look what Tammy did!

She painted canvas bags for me as "airline friendly" Easter baskets for the nephews, and gave them to me at choir practice last night. Aren't they cute?

And a meditation for Maundy Thursday: I was raised in a church that wasn't much into symbolism and tradition. They were doing the "Jesus Freak" thing and seemed to take a lot of pride in dumping tradition as too staid and hidebound for their new and exciting perspective on God. So having become a part of a church with a liturgy and traditions and symbols over the last few years, it still surprises me how much comfort I seem to take from them. I like the deeper meanings and the layers of concept. And when we get to the part of the Maundy Thursday service where we recall Jesus being taken by the soldiers, and the darkness closes in, it never fails to make me feel thoughtful and sad. But last night when the Christ Candle - the last light - was snuffed out, it really surprised me how that hit me in the gut. I think some emotions can't be figured out; they just have to be permitted to roll over you on an instinctive level.

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