A Holy Week

I haven't posted in about a week b/c I've been doing too many seasonally appropriate things. I'd say the most appropriate and enjoyable Holy Week I've had, actually.

Wednesday it started with a traditional and beautiful Tenebrae service with Angel and a few friends at St. Peter's in the International District in Seattle.

Maundy Thursday was spent visiting the Tacoma Catholic Worker compound with a few friends, and meeting folks who have been washing people's feet for years, including Father Bill Bichsel, a true saint with an incredible activist history. (More real Christians in a world without any real Christians.) Then off to do my own symbolic foot washing at St. Margaret's. Which gave me an idea - why don't we commemorate Jesus' washing of the disciples' feet with something more than just ritual? Or why don't we take our ritual onto the street in some form? Giving shoes to the shoeless, or something? Maybe next year.

Good Friday was a work day but concluded with a beautiful service at St. Margaret's, followed by "Dancing in the Darkness" at St. Mark's Cathedral - a really interesting experience. A bunch of people creating art and music together in the dark commemmorating the silent work of resurrection that started after the death of Christ and came to full expression on Easter. Go here for some pics by Elle Fine. A kind of "Michel Gondry does Good Friday", I keep saying. (Here's a Gondry Video):

Saturday I started reading a book called What is Art For?, written by a brilliant woman/professor/independent scholar named Ellen Disanayake who lives in my building. In a lot of ways this is a book I've been looking for for a long time - at least since I started working on my thesis at Otago in 2003. She makes a case for the rise of art ("making special") through the evolutionary process and begins a discussion about how and why art became a central aspect of human experience. I wanted to write my thesis on a similar topic (the theological implications of 'what religion is for' from an evolutionary perspective), but didn't realize any extensive work had been done in the field. Ellen comments on ritual and art extensively here and in other books. A few years late, but you'll hear more about this from me, I'm sure. In the afternoon, Angel and I went to the Washington History Museum and then to Easter Vigil services at St. Margaret's w/6 baptisms and a really warm and fun suburban family feel. Then an appropriate conclusion to the day - "Rise" - an Easter dinner and dance party with John van Deusen and the COTA community. Exactly what one should be doing on Easter Vigil, it seems to me - meaningful ritual and dance.

And Sunday - Easter Celebration at St. Margaret's followed by an afternoon of mixed napping and reading and then dinner with friends at a fancy French Restaurant at the Pike Place Market. To wrap the whole weekend up, Angel drug me to do what the resurrected Christ also probably would have done - go dancing with friends at a gay bar. (Yep - that's right.)

That's a weekend so rich you could put it in a tourist brochure. It's a great place to be, Seattle is.


dang, you do have quite the life!