Seven Stanzas at Easter

by John Updike

Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells� dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that�pierced�died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-m�ch�,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck�s quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.

~John Updike

via A Holy Experience

11 Responses to Seven Stanzas at Easter

  1. Steve March 31, 2008 at 8:44 am #

    and they seem to run a lot faster too!

  2. Judy March 31, 2008 at 9:13 am #

    Because you chase her…lol. 

    All of our 5 children have done this at some point. My youngest brother ran out of the house and down the street a few times. Just be thankful that Bella can’t open the door yet. wink

  3. Melanie Bettinelli April 1, 2008 at 11:35 am #

    Actually, we don’t chase her. We just sit back and laugh. Of course, our laughter may encourage her.

    Bella can undress herself, she does it at bath time. But so far she hasn’t shown any tendency to take off her clothing at other times, except for shoes and socks. Of course the fact that we keep our thermostat at 60 in winter may help discourage that sort of behavior. I’ll get back to you in the summer time and see if she isn’t more like Cecilia.

    What Bella does instead is put on clothes on top of the clothes she’s already wearing. So she’ll put two or three additional shirts over her head (she doesn’t get her arms in the sleeves, though). And she pulls up a second pair of pants to her knees. in fact, she’s doing that as I type. The pants pulled to her knees make walking rather hard and she just fell on her face! But no harm done, she just picked herself back up with no crying. She also loves to try and dress her various toys in her clothing. Even toys that seem like very unlikely candidates such as her little wind-up bee bath toy.

     

  4. The Bookworm April 1, 2008 at 2:51 am #

    We don’t get the streak at bath time, but that is because Daddy is in charge and he doesn’t allow escapes wink. Taking all her clothes off is a new game Little Cherub has discovered over the last couple of weeks. She thinks it is *very* funny. And we have the attempts to add extra clothes, both to herself and to her dolls. 

  5. Katherine April 1, 2008 at 6:20 am #

    Cecilia doesn’t run when she gets naked, but I think that is because, since she has learned how to take all her clothes off herself, she spends a fair amount of her time at home running around in only her pull-up anyway. I force her to get dressed when anyone is coming over and she loved to get dressed when she will be going outside but if it is raining out and I’m not going anywhere, I have a hard time forcing her to keep her clothes on. She even takes off her shirt to sleep and sometimes her pants as well.

    So while she doesn’t run around naked, she prefers wearing as little as possible all the time.

  6. cathy March 31, 2008 at 7:29 am #

    I do too – but don’t tell the neighbors grin

    Kidding – But my niece was the same way.  odd.

  7. Catherine April 2, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    Funny.  Kasandra actually only likes to be naked at bathtime.  One of the strategies I ended up using during potty training was that she could have her clothes back after she used the potty properly!

    And 60?  really?  Wow.  We keep it at 67 and the girls’ digits are still like ice.  We just can’t go any lower than that. 

    Wait, apartment living.  Now I remember.  I almost never used my heat when I lived in an apartment, because it seemed like my neighbors wanted to cook dinner on their coffee table.  Maybe that’s it.

  8. Lori April 2, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    My mother has a picture of me at about 2.5 or 3 yrs old, dashing through the house sans clothing…and in my baby book it’s titled “The Streaker!”  Too funny!

  9. Melanie Bettinelli April 2, 2008 at 11:48 am #

    Catherine,

    It was only a couple of years ago that I didn’t think I could go lower than 68. I had fights with my roommates over how cold the house was. Having to buy heating oil at almost $3.50 a gallon helps convince me otherwise. We just wore an extra layer of clothing and I put a blanket on my lap when seated. And yeah we shiver a bit and Bella gets cold hands sometimes. Of course, being pregnant the past few months I didn’t feel it nearly as much and Bella is only still when she’s asleep.

    I say apartment; but it’s really a New England- style apartment. We rent the first floor of a three story house that once upon a time was probably a one-family house. We get a bit of heat from the upstairs neighbors whose radiator pipes go through our rooms; but not enough to really make much of a difference.

    Space heaters do help take the chill out of the bathroom before baths and I run one in the bedroom where the baby sleeps too. Ah frugal living at its finest!

  10. Catherine April 3, 2008 at 8:04 am #

    Yep, $3.50 a gallon would put my thermostat down too!  Around here, we use propane, and it hasn’t yet hit $2.00 per gallon, and we use less than 600 gallons per winter.

    My first pregnancy was the hot one.  Since my thyroid crashed and medicating it during pregnancy is touchy, I shivered my way through my second pregnancy, and barely felt the heat in the summer, even though that was the end of my time.  I wish I could just turn that on in the summer…

  11. Melanie Bettinelli April 3, 2008 at 9:24 am #

    I wish we had propane. Or gas. We have to buy oil about every two or three weeks. (Gotta love these old houses.) It’s really been killing us this winter. We’ve had to cut everything out of our budget and are still struggling to pay all our bills.

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