Friday, April 22, 2011

On Good Friday

22 April 2011, 3 pm, purple and green
Occasionally one touches base with the sensibilities of the Middle Ages and remembers Huizinga's study and one's own experience of liturgical symbolism, such as purple for the dark days of the calendar.  While I was outdoors this afternoon recording the progress of my amaryllis blooms (especially for the friend who gave me this stupendous bulb, but those who live where they won't survive in the ground like it, too), I saw my neighbor's Holy Week colors, with dark purple for Good Friday.  Of course, I have no reason to think that my neighbor chose the handsome plant as a symbol, and usually I, too, would have seen it purely aesthetically, but today is, in fact, Good Friday, and ever since a cruel explosion damaged the whole neighborhood where I was living while in the evening on Good Friday I was peaceably reading my way through the fifth book of Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu, and suddenly a back door was blown out, shards of a window fell on my record collection, the walls heaved and cracks opened in them (in sum, worse than any earthquake I'd ever known in California), I have never again felt quite the same about Good Friday.  I disliked violence enough before, and feared political craziness, too, but since then I have tended to regard the crucifixion of Jesus as an act of political violence.  Today's news broadcasts, of course, did nothing to make me regard the wages of fear and uncertainty any more equably.
So I thought that purple framed in green would be suitable self-indulgent posting for the coincidence of Earth Day with Good Friday.
P.S. If someone knows the name of the purple-leafed plant, please tell me.