Sunday 4 April 2010

Easter, A Moveable Feast

From the blog post of April 12th, Easter Sunday
Day 40. Forty days and forty nights. Wasn't Jesus tested for forty days and nights before Gethsemane? The central line tubing in my jugular was placed successfully but the three access tubes connected to the main catheter weigh heavy on my neck. The last four days have been so unbearable that I too feel I have been abandoned and forsaken by the One I trusted to watch over me and ease my suffering.

I have been remembering my Easter of a year ago. It was a special time, unforgettable. Many of the days and nights of my 84 days in hospital are remembered now only through my blog, through moments of lucid poetry. But the Easter weekend is clear. I had a new consultant, a temporary Easter consultant. And he was extraordinarily kind to me. He arrived at the hospital every day, on his bike, to see me. He would stride quickly into the room, greet my father respectfully, draw up a chair, and smile. "Now Shaista, what are you up to today?!!"
And I would release pent up passion and vociferous semi-medical jargon, making completely unreasonable demands such as, "Are you with me or against me?" and reasonable demands such as, "I need a blood transfusion now!"

We mark our lives by different anniversaries. Easter is one of mine. I am here. Alive. How could it be otherwise on a day of resurrection? How do you give thanks for the miracle of life?

I read something interesting today about the holy city of Jerusalem. As you know, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the ultimate destination for any Jerusalem pilgrimage, and six Christian denominations consider themselves its custodians - the Roman Catholics, the Greek Orthodox, Armenian apostolics, the Coptics, Ethiopians and the Syriacs. But did you also know that for a thousand years, since the time of Saladdin, the main entrance to the Church has been entrusted to two Muslim families, the Joudeh, who have the key, and the Nusseibeh, who have been custodians since the days of Caliph Omar in 637. A Joudeh family member is still on hand twice a day to bring the key to the door which is locked and unlocked by a Nusseibeh.

This beautiful merging of unexpected histories, the unimaginable kindnesses of being human, the resurrection of hope, this is Easter for me.
photography: Guy Raivitz, a Coptic nun at the doorway of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem


ceecee said...

Dear Shaista,

I must have been leaving my comment on the previous post just as you were posting this one because when I returned to my Dashboard there you were. We were connecting from afar.

I remember last Easter when you were in hospital. I'm so sorry that this year is a difficult one again.

Sending you prayers and lots of love on this Easter Sunday,

* said...

What a beautiful post. You are a lover and a fighter, a truth sayer and a believer. I'm glad you're here to share your heart with us.

Happy Easter.

Maggie May said...

I am so sorry you suffer like that, like this. Your clarity is beautiful but pain is not. I am also so glad you are still here, such a fighter, so much love.


* said...

Shaista, thank you for that incredible poem you left on my blog today. So moving, so well said. I think He would know.

Jeanne-ming Brantingham said...

I don't know what to write but want to be connected and to tell you I think of you all the time.

A Cuban In London said...

Thank you for your e-mail which I've just read now. You're one of a kind.

Greetings from Kuala Lumpur.

Jo said...

I am just catching up on my blogging and have not visited you in a while. I hope you are okay. I'm sorry you are having a bad time. I'm thinking about you.

((((HUGS)))) from Canada.


Haddock said...

Like one priest said "Christ has truly risen"

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