Today on the (western) liturgical calendar marks the sixth Sunday of Easter. In two weeks, after Pentecost, ‘ordinary time’ will resume. Thought you should know.
Zachariah, Peter and Sly Stone
Soon the Octave of Easter weeks will be swallowed
by the flat terrain of ordinary time,
left to graze on the greying memories of holy week.
And now I’m wondering: does sacred need profane?
Didn’t the eyes of Zechariah burn with a new light?
Gazing on those common cooking pots and horse bells
seeing ‘holy-to-the-Lord’ blaze itself onto the quotidian,
his inventory overturned, unbound, suddenly fluid.
And Peter too—in the shimmering glow
of his inclusive act, standing by his new friend,
quaking in the greening comprehension—
had cried, the dream-in-waiting has arrived,
the revelation-revolution is that you, friend, are holy.
He’d seen, at the in-gathering of everyday people
the sacredness of all breath and breathless things.
How God had sung the buzzing, blooming world,
this giant bejewelled chalice, holy.
But how hard it is to transpose this new song.
Hard to find our meaning beyond division.
Easier to stay safe on the righteous side of a conjured line,
call our exacting ability to classify and codify,
the gift of discernment.
Easier to be over and above, than to love;
easier to breach than to merge;
easier to preach than converge,
and try create a supple ‘we’
beyond the icy ‘us-and-them.’
And back at the Temple we sweep out
the odd and ungainly, the queer and the quirky,
all those mismatched colours onto the coarse ground,
keeping holy holy, and profane profane.
And now, as I write, Sly and the Family Stone
comes pop, funk, soul, rock-ing over these
cafe speakers, singing “Everyday People.”
And a girl in a red top sitting in a purple chair
starts to sing, “There is a blue one who can’t accept
The green one for living with a black one…
And so on and so on… Oh sha sha…
We gotta live together.”
First band to mix race and gender,
Family Stone climbed the stage and danced
their kaleido-delic diversity onto the human plain.
But alright, we’re still in our swaddling clothes,
needing to designate times, places, things holy,
raise to mind and stamp our memory matrices
with coordinates through which we can seize
and fuse a reality that can be rehearsed,
transcribed and coaxed, onto the cosmos entire.
And by this, should we be moved to see what we are
—we may call it liturgy.
Zachariah, Peter and Sly knew the aim;
knew that every day is Easter,
knew that all time is ordinary—and kissed holy,
that all people are everyday—kissed holy.