Friday, January 17, 2014


Another Fun-a-Day blog-a-day post, for your reading pleasure.


So I'm in Boston again. I spent a good 5 years here after college and through grad school, and come back periodically to visit family. This weekend we are visiting with my father, who had a kidney transplant at Thanksgiving. I was in Boston for the holiday, so I got to be here for the surgery and first day out of hospital.

A kidney transplant is no small thing. There is much I don't feel I can comfortably share about it, because it's not my story to tell. But I can write about the resurrection. Yes, I think I can.

I wonder about resurrection. As a good (or not so good) Catholic school girl, I remember learning about the transformation of the resurrection of the body-- both in Jesus' body and the promise to the faithful at the end times, and the allied act in eucharist of transubstantiation, where the bread and wine become the body and blood of the risen Christ through the miracle of the ritual. Both of these always felt like long shots, somehow something I could never really understand, and frankly, were kind of creepy.

As an adult universalist christian Friend (who enjoys pagan and buddhist frameworks, as well), I am at best an uncomfortable christocentric christian, if that makes sense. The miracles of Jesus' death and resurrection do not really sit well with me, because of how they smack of a separation from humanity, a sense of elitism that has been utilized in such interesting and damaging ways over the years and millennia since Jesus walked this earth. But this experience of my father's extreme health after the transplant really feels like an example of resurrection. To have life after one's life has ended, to serve and heal another person, is a miraculous and powerful thing.

I also think that, in a basic biological sense, resurrection happens all the time. I love manure, decay, and decomposition because of the life that can spring forth from it. I love post-apocalyptic writing for some of the same reasons I love compost-- often it has a period of grossness, but what comes out at the end of the destruction and decay is pure gold, utopian in its possibility for what can grow from it, and purposeful, without waste.

To call my father on the phone, as he learns of his health, hearing him tell me how he doesn't feel sick anymore, after years of it, is also a resurrection for him, I believe. I see him as grabbing life by the horns of this gift, this miracle. I see him traveling to Alaska, as he always wished to. I see resurrection in each day he is given by this transplant.

So maybe resurrection isn't about a transformation, but rather a transportation-- a traveling of life from one form to another. A life ended can bring life to another. After decomposition is life anew. What was it I learned in chemistry-- that matter cannot be created or destroyed, but only changed? Or was that energy? Well, the results are the same-- our matter/energy move in time, and change, and change again.

I remember, in high school, I had two friends. We three were solid, and solid in our alienation from mainstream high school life. An example of this is one of our biggest jokes-- You know, like back in the day, like back when we were all couches? 

The infinity of what we were, what we can be, in a limitless timeline, is overwhelming. But these small transfers, travels, I can handle. I'll take them, and make good green growing things with them, and thank the resurrection of this life on earth.

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