RESURRECTION FOR NON-CHRISTIANS
By Andrew Hidas
Stay with me now, you non-Christians (of which I am one).
The hard believers will insist there’s nothing for you here,
Irredeemable heathens that you persist in Being.
But believe not, I say, in those believers, their binaries
Blinding them to nuance, context, symbol, the
Dusky liminal depths of myth more real than reality.
Resurrection is yours, too, for the taking.
You need not wear a cross on your chest,
Nor hang on one for the many sins you
Share in common with your brothers and sisters,
Perfection being the chimera that the
Christ himself was said to dispel.
Sinning is yours, too, for the committing.
You need only behold the tulips of spring,
The spring in your own step as day beckons
Or night falls with the slow revelation of stars.
Death and rebirth suffuse our lives, all life itself
As it waxes and wanes, the endless cycle of
Joy and despair depositing us anew in the circle of time.
(Resurrection is large, it contains multitudes.)
We for whom afterlife is a Self-canceling phrase
Need not mourn for time that will not be ours,
The true sin being to waste the time we have by
Bemoaning our fate or debating how many angels
Must dance on the head of a pin to ensure our salvation.
“So live!” said my father in the last note he scrawled
To his wife and children, the sum of all he had lived for.
Two words more profound than he could have known,
A gentle gauntlet thrown into the time that calls us all.
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Lovely. Thanks, Andrew.
Pleasure’s mine, Chris Ann. Happy Easter!
Beautiful poem, Andrew. Loved it.
Thank you very much Kate! Glad it struck a chord.
Beautiful. Maybe haunting. I still count myself on the other side, but sometimes I wonder.
Well there’s certainly no shortage of matters to wonder about, Harry—and to leave one agape in wonder. It’s a hard-working word!
[…] And this evening, I read a post at Traversing, another of those rare blogs that still updates. Andrew wrote Resurrection for Non-Christians: A Poem: […]
Drew, not only is your poem so appropriate for today being Easter, but it rings of what we all need to practice: tolerance and living life to its fullest. LIVE, as your dad penned, is perfect in its singular wisdom & advice.
I dove into my file cabinet this morn and was able to track down the program we put together for my dad’s memorial, Robert—25 years ago now, my oh my…Anyway, I had remembered that “So live!” admonition, but it was just part of a poem I put together on his behalf from various scraps of paper he had left around his hospital bed in his last days. Kind of scattered thoughts of gratitude and guidance he was leaving behind for us. As I beheld these small note pad pages, envelopes, etc., I recognized there was a poem in them just waiting to cohere, written in his third or so language (Hungarian-German-English, bits ‘n pieces of others like most Europeans), with that classic, rather grand penmanship they still taught in those days (wish now I’d have saved the original pieces). Thought you might enjoy it.
Have a nice life, everybody.
I lived for you guys.
I loved you all.
Tearfully, I say farewell.
My dearest wife, I was wise to choose you.
You were my super angel.
Keep the family together.
Have a healthy and happy life.
I’ll be you guardian angel watching over
And taking care of you all.
My heart will always be with you.
You were my life.
You are all young,
Don’t work so much.
In my own mostly-retired status, I’m particularly intent on following those last three lines…
It’s wonderful, Andrew. I’ve already forwarded to two friends and will, no doubt, send to others. I’m sure your dad would be delighted with how you’ve expanded on his self-scrawled epitaph and shared it with us.
Glad you enjoyed that too, David. Hadn’t thought of sharing my dad’s whole “poem,” as it were, until Robert’s comment, and wasn’t even sure I could find the whole thing. Thankfully, there it was, deep in a folder labeled “Obits, Special Items” that was itself deep in my file cabinet…
We are all blessed that you found your father’s words, and that you put together this inspiring and deeply fulfilling post. Many thanks, my friend.
Very glad to toss a pebble or two into the pond and elicit a ripple, Jay, thanks.
Your dad’s note resonates so clearly with so many because of its simple, straightforward & personal view of what we all need to focus more on in our own lives. I’m sure in your “Obits, Special Items” is a moving memory of Pete.