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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Adopting Myth-Time

And so, for those that do, we stand on the threshold of Lent and knock.

Not Hnaef, of course. When he fell over at the end of the Pancake Race we thought he'd something seriously wrong. But the blood tests have revealed that he is currently 64% Pancake. Which is high, but not terminal.

So, some might say - do we need Lent? Is the annual Beaker cycle of fast and feast, high days and low times a distraction?  Isn't goodwill to everyone for life, not just for Xmas? Shouldn't we examine our crummy hearts all the time - not just in Lent? Isn't it bizarre that the Beaker Fertility Folk rush out into the woods to frolic at St John's Eve and not other times?

These are all good questions. Apart from the one about the Fertility Folk. They're up for running out and frolicking in the woods pretty well any time. Just happens the weather is better for that sort of thing at Midsummer.

I guess where I come from is, that life is linear, has a start and - unless other arrangements are made - an end.  But Myth-Time isn't like that. The metaphors - some so strong as to be historical - of life are eternal. The start, and end, exist outside of what we can understand as "time". While the event right in the middle of it all only happened once.

And so how do we accommodate the one-off and the never-seen within a bounded life? Within the circularity of the world we inhabit. By celebrating Pouring-Out of Beakers daily, we join the continual blessing we experience with the circles of the world. By marking all things scary at Winter Solstice, by setting fire to everything we can legally ignite, we're remembering that, in Myth-Time, darkness is forever banished.

By marking Lent, if we have that much discipline, we remember we fall short, that as we pass through this world we are too often distracted by shiny things, by quick fixes and short-term nice feelings, and apply ourselves to joining the eternal struggle to let goodness asset itself over cheap tricks and dodgy shortcuts.

By linking the death and resurrection of our God to Spring Solstice (or vice versa, I guess) we remember that there's always victory beyond defeat; hope beyond despair. But also that the victory comes through the defeat, not despite it. That, to have Spring, we must endure Winter. That green leaves spring from last year's dead buds or dried seeds. That there may be sobbing for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

And so, in memory that God died and rose once, we celebrate it every year, as the season themselves remember it.  And as it was foreshadowed before it happened. And as we remember it every year, we remind the world itself that it's only rehearsing the big reawakening it will get sometime.

To anyone who has the faintest what I'm on about, have a joyful Lent. To those in the Southern Hemisphere - this post might make more sense if you turn your iPad  upside down. And if you think I'm just talking drivel - better hurry up. You've only another seven weeks to buy Creme Eggs. Get your priorities right!

1 comment :

  1. I'm never sure whether Beaker myth is just that or an alternate reality.

    Like God, who might be a bearded, Santa Klause figure up in the clouds, or alternately, an omnipotent being whose presence we can't detect (unless we're really, really psychic) but can observe all around us in the beauty of creation, of all of his creatures abounding (the ones is that haven't died out through the ice age, or been decimated by humanity) and our fellow beings (well, at least those who we like, love but not hate). We do of course love them all, a 'fraternal' not carnal love, because Jesus, gave us his two greatest commandments. As the Meerkat says, 'simples' really!!

    So Aesops Fables, Aristotle's pronouncements and God's word come together into a wonderful Beaker mythology which puts it all into the melting pot so that at Lent the Hare actually beats the tortoise, we all appreciate that we really 'are' and we know that if we repent we are all loved and saved through faith alone - trouble is what faith?

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