Needing Purging

Spring is an interesting time. It is an awakening, but at the same time it is a putting to sleep. In me I feel a great pull to put to sleep a certain kind of clear thinking, and in its place emerges a joy in the sensuality of life. This is a different kind of learning and I am feeling a little down about not being able to finish off the 3 or 5 academic books, the countless papers and websites I promised myself to read before the end of winter…

And so I have not written any journal entries. How can one bear to study in the strict sense at this time of year? The smells are intoxicating and the warmth, the feeling of social possibility, of people emerged from their caves so very inviting. Yet, I always feel a sadness with this new outwardness. Something is lost in the melted snow and the buried crystal-clarity of thought. The winter concentration has been replaced and how can I possibly rejoice?

I believe Easter has something to teach us about this. In this joyous time, traditionally we celebrate the death of God, His torture and pain and suffering. We celebrate His resurrection and the cleansing of our souls of sin by His deed.

It is a time of cleaning. In Jewish faith one cleans to the most minute detail –  a self-clensing as much as a good spring clean. I find myself using the wooden darning egg given to me by my babcia (grandmother), which originally belonged to my prababcia (great-grandmother). I think of the simple act of darning passed down through countless women in a long forgotten matrilineal history. But what I am doing is making things anew, not dwelling in the past. This is not a time of holding onto the body of history, but of letting it die, casting it aside to be ressurected.

I am drenched in this melancholy filled with hope, this devastating absence promising warmth. I can free myself of the old habits and history by consciously acknowledging them. Cleaning and making good is a learning, a sacred activity and a tradition practised anew. It is my Easter meditation.

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