Chocolate eggs

Well, the long Easter weekend is over.  I hope you had a nice Easter, though I always wonder if that’s an appropriate adjective – “nice”.  Last week during a Buddhist planning meeting, I tried to explain what Easter was all about and what did it have to do with chocolate eggs to a couple of Japanese members.  I tried to explain that it’s actually a very important Christian holy day and it involved crucifixion and resurrection and that the eggs were really a pagan thing that was thrown in there.  They looked rather confused and horrified with the crucifixion part and stigmata didn’t really seem to go with eating chocolate and wearing pastel colours.    Well, it doesn’t, but western capitalism can provide a silver lining for everything.  I probably could have explained it better and in more detail but it was a BUDDHIST planning meeting and we had things to plan.  It really got me thinking of why I used to really enjoy going to church on Easter.  I liked the resurrection part of the story and the fact that they should have listened to the women and I liked dressing up.

We had DH’s cousin and husband for the weekend.  I was really looking forward to it as his cousin in a whipsmart, bubbling, funny girl and we always have a good laugh when we get together.  As a matter of fact, we were watching a show on hoarders and she actually made me laugh so hard and for so long, I cried and choked and fell to my knees.  (If you have ever seen a show on hoarders, it’s not that funny and it makes you want to throw out stuff!)

They’re a lovely young couple, on the verge of TTC, but I kept my mouth away from any assvice.  I’m not an expert in success in that area, after all.  She was clearly besotted with my son and he in turn.  They went out to a rock show Saturday night and came home late so they weren’t too interested in going to the culture centre with me the next morning.

Once a month, there’s World Peace Gongyo  – we get together at the culture centre to chant for peace – and all over the world, the world, people are chanting at the same time.  My friend and I were leading everyone in singing “I Believe” (the Olympic song).   We even had our Taiko drum group give us a preview of their upcoming performance in a youth festival that will take place in Toronto at Roy Thomson Hall  on May 15th.  Now I know hubby has gone with me to lots of things at the culture centre in the past, and he’s made it clear that he’s no longer interested now that he’s come out of the closet as a raving atheist.  Never mind that a couple of years ago we went to a Christmas church service in the evening (never in the morning cause that’s too early and too inconvenient and half us feel asleep)  with his whole family just because THEY wanted to sing carols. The carols, you know, puts you in that gift bonanza mood.  And no, they don’t go to church any other time to my knowledge.

So I took the Precious.  It always  bothers me a bit when I go to church with family simply because they ask me to and no one every seems to consider returning the favour for me.  And no, it’s not cause I’m trying to convert them.  It’s more about sharing that part of my life with them.  I want them to understand why I chant, what’s special about it.  I want to introduce them to my friends and my community because they are my family.  The real reason it really bothers me is that when I was a kid and we would go to church, my dad would never come in with us.  My dad would drop us off.  He never came at Easter and he never came at Christmas. He just sat at home being a miserable prick.  So it felt that not even once or twice a year, we would sit together as a whole family and share in some positive feelings.  And it hurt.

So that’s why when one of our family members wants me to attend church with them I go.   Not cause I’m trying to get them to do something for me in the future, but to be part of the family.   So when hubby acts like I’m trying to get him or others in a pyramid scheme, I’m hurt, disappointed, and pissed off.  So I don’t ask anymore.  I try to understand that he does so many other things to support my practice (like burn the music CD to so we have something to sing to) and keep my grumbling/guilt tripping to a bare minimum.

As usual, DH’s family are the easiest guests and always offer to help out and they took us out for an early dinner before they left.  I’m always amazed that his family get togethers are generally full of activity and laughter. I look forward to it whenever one of them comes to town.  Envious, too. Mmmm.  We ran out of Cadbury creme easter eggs.  Damn.

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5 thoughts on “Chocolate eggs

  1. I would love to go to a Buddhist meeting with you. : ) I am curious about other religions, always have been. I don’t think it hurts to learn about other cultures & religions. I was brought up Anglican, but one of the small towns we lived in did not have an Anglican church, so we went to the United Church there. My best friends across the street were Catholic, & I went to Catechism with them. My dad’s family was Ukrainian Catholic & went to a tiny little onion-domed church in the country that had gorgeous murals painted on the walls. My sister’s best friend was the Baptist minister’s daughter, & the town where my parents live right now is full of Mennonite & Dutch Reformed churches. Never been to a synagogue, although there was a small one down the street from where we lived when I was in high school. A rabbi would come out from Winnipeg for high holidays, bar mitzvahs, etc.

    Glad you had a nice visit with dh’s family. It helps so much when you can just enjoy each other without a lot of tension!

  2. Ditto what Lori Beth said about going to a meeting with you. I would be fascinated to experience that part of your life….if I ever make it up north that’s what we’ll do.

  3. Okay, listen. You simply have to quit putting so many conversation starting thoughts into each post. I cannot possibly respond eloquently to all your thoughts.

    I would LOVE to go to a Buddhist meeting. I was raised a Catholic (I am now in recovery) and find peoples beliefs so interesting. As long as they are THEIR beliefs and they aren’t simply aren’t repeating what they heard on Sunday, because they don’t have an original thought.

    As a child, I had a wonderful babysitter…an older Baptist woman. On occasion my mom would let me spend the night at her house ( a farm…I was in love) and would go with her to her church. I was BLOWN AWAY that people laughed, clapped, sang snappy songs, yelled out in the middle of the service (again, being Catholic, we sat, shut up, pretended we were listening, then left). I didn’t convert to the Baptist faith, but it showed me, at an early age, that there is more than one way to look at religion. For that, I will always thank my mom (and Mrs. Carter;)

    Also, the fact that you laughed so hard at a comment about hoarders, makes me want to go to lunch with you and hubby’s cousin. I love someone with a great wit, and someone who appreciates it 🙂

  4. There is nothing better than laughing until you choke. Nothing. Except maybe cadbury creme eggs…

    I love your thoughts on religion and belonging. Maybe I will make more of an effort to go to church with my mom next time we are together -it’s a really good point that it’s often more about community than the service itself. Hmmm…

  5. I think there is something about having grown up in one religion, taking on another as an adult, and one’s family still wanting one to attend religious services with them.

    I also grew up Christian and converted to Judaism (as you know). My dad frequently invites me to church, but I don’t believe that it would occur to anyone in my family to ever go to services with me, even though Jewish services are MUCH less proselytizing-focused than their church services (Baptist). I can definitely understand going with the family to have a joint experience.

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