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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Easter

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In the Christian tradition, Easter Sunday is a happy celebration, when life triumphs over death. Winter gives way to spring. Baby animals are born. Christ rises from the dead. Yet as the calendar brings Easter around, I mostly remember the death part from church days, based on Christ’s words, Take up your cross and follow me.

A couple weeks ago my friend Gayla showed me a book she is reading titled Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empireoffering a fascinating new lens on the history of Christianity, from its first centuries to the present day, asking how its early vision of beauty evolved into a vision of torture, and what changes in society and theology marked that evolution.” What? In the first centuries Christianity focused on beauty? One part of the book explains that before a certain century (can't recall which) there is no art to be found depicting the crucifixion.

Thankfully I didn't grow up during the Inquisition or anything remotely close to it, but there was the cross before us every day. Daily choices between this and that gave opportunity to sacrifice desires and find instead a chance to serve God, people or a greater cause. In other words: death to self. Or: What I feel doesn't matter as much as what God wants. Understandably the result was that feelings and desires became the enemy.

As a person who scored 50 to zero in the feelings vs. thinking section of the Myers Briggs personality profile - that's 50 on the feelings end of the spectrum and -0- on the thinking end (no comments from the peanut gallery, please) - this teaching that my feelings didn't count for much was painful. I never quite got the hang of it. For instance, I couldn't run on the track team when the coach invited me, because track practice was on Wednesday nights, and we had prayer meeting at church that night. As a preacher's kid, you have to be in church whenever the doors are open, as an example to the congregation. Eventually, questions about the whole ball of wax led me away from church, back to what I had always felt down deep, even as a child: that I wanted the roots of spirituality, the cosmic “laws” undergirding all of Nature, not the human rules interpreted from sacred texts in any one religion, and often used to control people's behavior.

As beautiful as religious celebrations can be, when you stop following, it’s tempting to throw them out because they no longer bear the same weight of meaning, or because they have been co-opted by commercial enterprise to sell the next stack of goods in grocery store aisles. This Easter, I am trying to tune out old mental tapes and mantras and re-discover the essence at the heart of this holiday that reflects the cycles and laws of Nature. Some symbols remain - eggs, a sunrise, a baby chick - because they are Nature's markers for release from the dark of winter and death. Do I sound Pagan and goddess-y? Well maybe you do too if you color Easter eggs or fill baskets with chocolate eggs for your kids, or even use the word “Easter” since that word came from the Pagan goddess of birth and renewal “Oester” (or the Babylonian “Ishtar”). Check out this site about Easter, eggs and bunnies and their Pagan roots.

The point of Easter is: It's a new day. Live it fresh, live it alive, live it in harmony. No enemies allowed.


71 comments:

Susan said...

Ruthie, thank you for this post. You've expressed my feelings exactly on this subject. And the picture of Bishop meeting the new chicks made me smile.

CottageGirl said...

Lovely post, Ruth. I echo Susan's sentiments.

ADORABLE pic of the animals!

Happy Easter!

shicat said...

I was raised as a Methodist. I can still remember my father (raised a catholic looooong but interesting story) kneeling in prayer every night before bed. As children we dutifully attended church every Sunday. That was before my family was taken over by the hippie generation,after that all bets were off. My sister and brother became agnostics.Not me I was alway a closet Catholic. I just love the beauty and traditions of it all.(although not the politics) The baby Jesus statues,rosary, Virgin Mary, confessions, holy water... need I say more? Of course I never acted on any of this and am essentially in the same "boat" as you. Interesting, my niece, studied mystisism at Harvard.She traveled around Mexico studying different saints and the religious celebrations surrounding them.Interesting isn't it. As for my spirituality,I'm nuetral. When my friend was dx with ovarian cancer, prayers were offered and one friend gave me a bottle of water from a holy place in Ohio that promised to heal. Many of my friends are new age spritiual people. I don't know....... I just don't know. But I do love the photo of the chicks and cat. Happy spring my blog friend. Maybe the Native Americans have it right?

Nautankey said...

Interesting thought.I still follow the festivities and special days though they don't mean anything to me they are special occasions followed by my ancestors and I don't want to throw them off just because I am a rationalist or an atheist.

Frankly I don't see anything wrong in sounding Pagan-y,any day its better than sounding like someone from the the days of inquisition or the crusades :D. So continue with the celebrations

Sally's World said...

this is a really lovley post, and a great way to start the Easter weekend...the picture is lovely too....happy Easter,

*jean* said...

oo ruth, i love it when i go to my dashboard and see that you have posted....it makes my day to read your thoughtful musings...

J.G. said...

I was reading The Brothers K recently and one line especially struck me: "Live it like you mean it."

Thanks for the lovely pictures and thoughts!

Babs (Beetle) said...

Oh this is a hard one! I'm struggling with a lot of things I was quite happy with a few years ago. I am a Christian, and I think that will never change, but I do have a problem with many Christians and their narrow attitude to life and people. Mo and I are 'odd balls' in the Christian world I think. Nothing new there though. We have always been odd balls :O)

shoreacres said...

Oh, dear. The last thing you want is the slight rant I could go off on, but here's just a tiny taste...

The teachings of the early church, and the emphases of its theology always were broader - far broader - than "Look at Jesus on the cross and feel really, really bad." Luther took a crack at restoring the importance of incarnation and broadening understanding of the ways in which God can encounter the world, but the Reformation turned into money-and-politics ecclesiastical style, and by the time various groups had finished their work, the beauty and magnificence of the faith had been reduced to pinch-faced old ladies of both sexes, disapproving of everything.

My point: remember that old saying, "For God so loved the world..."? World. Not people. The world. Salvation is for the cosmos, and in the end its truth has very little or nothing to do with the number of church services attended.

In Christian terms, the practical effect of cosmic redemption is that anything can be a bearer of God's presence to humanity. Your kitty and chicks are as perfect an illustration of salvation as anything I've seen. The kitty and the chicks aren't worrying about where they're going to end up when they die, or who might be waiting to strike them down if they so much as utter a peep. They're simply living, experiencing the world and, in their own ways, rejoicing in the gift of life they've been given.

But enough of that. Happy Easter!

California Girl said...

MMMMMMMmmmm Lunch!

Dastardly deeds in the name of religion are man's fault. God gave us choices. It's up to us to make the correct ones. Slaughter, torture, self-immolation, terrorism, all man made. I look forward to Easter each year just to celebrate rebirth.

Love the ideas, the book ref and, or course, the photos.

The Bug said...

Although I was a 20 in thinking & not so much on feeling, I struggled with the negativity in church too - not because it FELT wrong, but because it wasn't logical! I was raised Southern Baptist - it definitely inflicted its dose of guilt on a regular basis. I belong to an Episcopal church now. Its credo is from Micah: Do justice, love mercy, walk observantly with God. Much more palatable than "go to church 8 days a week & twice on Sundays or you're going to hell!"

Bob Johnson said...

Awww what a cute pic Ruth!! And so true the words, the key is somehow throwing out what you learned in Sunday school and the rules and live for Christ, knowing that the church rules and regulations and they have a lot, have their place but to rule your life with the most important part, your feelings, after all if you think too much it just gets more complicated.

I am going to add my favorite saying again.

"Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to."

delphine said...

Interesting post- everybody has their own take on religious beliefs. I was convent educated and taught to live in the fear of the Lord, and also in his love. Now I don't believe in much at all I'm afraid! I witness mans' inhumanity to man and feel immensly sad, but at the same time witness so much love and hope and courage in this world and that is what inspires me , not any religion.

Sophia said...

I love this post. Lurve it. It sweeps over me like a feather of relief. "What I feel doesn't matter as much as what god wants." This is the same thing I have struggled with most of my life, but which I am finally letting go of in my 30s. Hurrah!

I have enjoyed your blog for a long time. Imagine me applauding and yelling "whoop whoop!" because that is how I feel.

Esther Garvi said...

That last picture of the cat and the chickens is just adorable! The looks genuinely friendly!

carl h. sr. said...

Bishop and the chicks is an adorable picture.
Looks like you opened a real Pandora's(sp?)box!
I like to think I don't need to try and explain my beliefs,but
I would like to think they come through via my behaviour and attitude.At least at the times when I am at my 'best'.
I hate to think of the example I set at other times!!!
Arghhh,I wish I could un-say and un-do so many things.
I can't imagine you have made many mistakes Ruthie!
Peace to you Lady,
carl

Helena said...

Love the chick photo. Hope the cat didn't bite their heads off...

Weird how many preacher's daughters I have in my blog list. And a preacher too. I guess it's because I'm from a religious family myself and it has affected me. Don't know, weird anyway.

Happy Easter!

Cori said...

BRAVO! I give you a standing O! I would much rather worship the beauty of nature than endure the teachings forced upon me as a child in the catholic church. Everyone should be free to believe or not to believe. Remember judge not lest ye be judged.

For me Billy Joel said it best:

"I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints."

Anet said...

Ruth, first of all... I LOVE Bishop and the babys!!! Melt your heart photo!
Second, is this past year I've been changing, learning, studying, growing. I'm right with you on this subject.
I must admit I feel a bit confused at times. Learning that many Christian Holidays come from much older pagan customs.
Also learning more about my husband's and children's Native American heritage has made us connect more with nature and the changing seasons. That's were I feel closest to God:)

Drowsey Monkey said...

Love that last photo ... lol so sweet. An the first one is worthy of being displayed in a gallery. Simply gorgeous.

I'm a former Christian - I say that as someone who has a degree in Religious Studies...so I know how complicated it can be to want to celebrate this time of year yet feel conflicted.

I see it as a rebirth - time to take stock and be grateful, time to make changes. The world is coming alive again so I should as well. That's the great thing about living somewhere where there are 4 distinct seasons. We always get to renew.

On a side note - if you're ever interested in reading great books about Jesus by a well-respected biblical scholar - who writes very well & clearly, I highly recommend John Dominic Crossan. He's written quite a bit about the Historical Jesus - which is the title of one of his books I think - anyway, he was mandatory reading when I was in university and I continue to read his books now.

He writes about Christianity with a lot of respect - but with a historic eye, which makes his work credible and enjoyable.

Oliag said...

Once again you have spoken my thoughts more clearly than I could have...and what wonderful photos!

I love the celebrations and traditions of rebirth that I grew up with but have to call myself agnostic...and maybe pagan:)

Great comments this has generated!

Ruth said...

Susie, I'm so glad for that smile.

Ruth said...

Happy Easter, CottageGirl. I know very well that in another scene Bishop might very well want to take the next step past sniffing those little morsels. But it did make me pause.

Ruth said...

Dear Cathy, that was a fascinating brief bio summary, so much to contemplate in your comment. I want to go off on all those topics!

Growing up Baptist, we had a very casual take on church time, no real liturgies or ceremonies - well not many. So there was a time I was super drawn to high church, Episcopal and Catholic, for the beauty of ceremony and ritual, the honor and respect that was paid to the Holy. There is something lovely about candles lit at the altar or along the edges of a church. Of course most Baptists think Catholics have it all wrong, and they have it all right. These exclusions were a big problem for me.

Happy spring to you. And yes, there are many things about Native American worldviews that resonate for me. Just this morning, as I took my first sip of coffee, I thanked the woman in South America who picked the beans.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

I know what you mean about the heavy emphasis on the grim and the required attendance at services. I'm a PK too! The Presbyterians are good at repentance but sometimes forget how to really rejoice in new life.

It wasn't until I was an adult and went to an Episcopal church at Easter that I really saw the celebration as truly joyful. Do you like that part of Easter?

That Easter Vigil service (often done Saturday night) when the church starts out dark and a new fire is lit in the back of the church while one voice sings brings me to tears. Everyone hold little candles and there is one huge new pascal candle in the rear of the church. The new candle is lit and the flame passed through the church, one person lighting the candle of the next all through the crowd. By the time the whole room is lit the song soars with joy and everyone's heart is renewed with wonder. Then the lights come up and music rings out for the rest of the service. We shout alleluia!! Easter is my favorite holiday now that I have this ritual of celebrating new life so dramatically.

Ruth said...

Nautankey, our Christmas and Easter pale next to Indian holidays and festivals - so much color, fireworks, festivities. You all really know how to party! I can't keep up with all of the festivals, I tried to remember, and rauf tells me about them, like Holi, right? The color one? But the layers and complexities of Indian culture/s boggle my mind so that I can't quite grasp it all. So I sit and watch and admire quietly.

Peter said...

I didn’t do the test (it was paying and better not know, perhaps?) :-)

Regarding the origin of the word “Easter” it’s surprising that although the origin also could be Nordic / Germanic goddess “Ostara” (referring to east, morning light), the Nordic word used today is "Påsk(e)" which rather comes from the Jewish “Pasha”, of course also the origin of the word in some latin languages.

You know probably that in France Easter Friday is just a normal working day. ... but of course Easter (Pâques) is celebrated. Regarding the symbols...

When I was in Sweden last week, the great discussion was about the(coloured) feathers used for the Easter decoration, taken cruelly from living birds (?) or not. Guarantees had to be given and or artificial feathers were proposed.

Yes, there is a lot to be said about all this, the mixture of pagan an religious traditions etc... but I will stop here and just wish you and your family “Joyeuses Pâques” and “Glad Påsk”!!

Loring Wirbel said...

There was an interesting exchange of letters in the Colorado Springs Gazette a few days ago. On Sunday, the newspaper had run a photo from a New Life Church play showing the suffering Christ on a cross. On Monday, a woman wrote to complain that as a Christian, she hated to present her 9-year-old son with images of suffering. Several people wrote back, from evangelicals to atheists, saying that no belief system was legitimate without aspects of pain, and that asking for such was like asking for 24-hour happy news. Couldn't agree more - I'm a very happy and upbeat person, but think that packaging concepts in easy-to-digest feel-good nuggets make them illegitimate.

Various progressive groups around town do a "Stations of the Cross" march in downtown Colo Springs on Good Friday, I'll be going off to participate in it soon.

Ruth, I have a hard time believing those Myers-Briggs results, you're one of the smartest people I know. Gotta get those INFJ yin-yangs back into balance. Crack open the math books.

Loring Wirbel said...

Oh, and shicat, my reaction to Catholic tradition is the same as my reaction to Catholic politics - "Ritual? Eeeeewwwww!" I have a really hard time with belief systems, even secular ones, based on ritual and heroes and graven images. In the political-secular world, my motto is "pedestals are for smashing." Unfortunately, we humans are a very immature species, and seem to require icons and heroes and rituals to become emotionally involved in our spirituality. It may make for great art I suppose, but it's a damned shame.

Ruth said...

Thanks so much, Sally, Happy Easter to you too. Happy spring too.

Ruth said...

How wonderful, Jean, thank you!

Ruth said...

That's good, J.G., that quote.

Ruth said...

Babs, when Don and I were still going to church, we found that some groups were far more open than others. If I were ever to go back (which I doubt) there is one particular congregation I would try nearby, which is very accepting and has many gay couples, for instance. If Jesus didn't exclude even the lowliest of society (which gays are treated as in some circles), why would a church?

Ruth said...

Linda, rant on, please. I love it.

As much as I relish this image of Bishop sticking her nose in the beak of the chick, and the lovely message of harmony, I have no doubts about Bishop's skills as a huntress - she is a true Diana. I have seen her with feathers and wings sticking out of her mouth. Such is the way of Nature.

There is a poem - one of my all time favorites of one of my all time favorite poets - The Heaven of Animals, by James Dickey (author of Deliverance - the book and the screenplay), in which he depicts the natural food chain as heaven - to all animals, even those who are eaten. Oh I love his take on the world!

Ruth said...

Haha, California Girl - no doubt that is what Bishop is thinking! She has eaten many an animal, starting when she was still a kitten and we saw a mole's tail trailing from her wee mouth.

What man has done to man, in the name of God, is his own invention - so true.

Ruth said...

Haha! The Bug, that's awesome, about the logic/thinking as a flip side.

There are ways to combine a thinking mind and a feeling heart with Christianity, and make it work the way I think it was meant to, and not how some have manipulated it to be.

Thank you!

Ruth said...

Bob, I can live, and be, and not resist all that there is. What I do with my circumstances is what matters, not what circumstances I am given. It took me a long time to stop resisting my upbringing and appreciate it, thanks to some dear friends who helped me see the value of it.

Our Bishop is our queen, many sides of her, and as elegant and sweet and cuddly as she is, she is a magnificent huntress who can survive well on her own in the outdoors.

Ruth said...

Delphine, some days the bad weighs heavy, some days the good surpasses. I never know on any given day what feelings will come when I wake up. I've learned to not worry about my feelings and just let them be. I will not likely feel the same way tomorrow.

The world is so full of complexity and contrast, and as you say human behavior runs such a wide spectrum, I have stopped trying to figure it out. It just is, and what I do with it is up to me.

Yesterday, I encountered a terribly rude driver in the grocery store parking lot. He was very annoyed that I had found a parking spot before him, and then he nosed up to my car even though there was plenty of room to drive around. Eventually he did drive around me, with a long, angry honk. I was happy to feel what I felt then, because I think I've learned to not take such an event personally. I was immensely sad, only sad, not disturbed that he had done that to me. I was sad that anyone in the world feels like he does.

Ruth said...

Hi there, Sophia, it is so nice to have you here. I really like your blog, and I'm still stung by those raspberries and crumble.

Oh dear, we each have our life story, our particular issues to face. How we encounter the world is shaped by so many things! I recognize that I keep coming across the same things, like a spiral. Usually - but not always - I feel that I've learned something since the last time I faced the recurring issues, like sign posts. What more can we hope for?

Ruth said...

Yes, Esther, at least as long as the feathered ones are armed in Don's strong hands!

Ruth said...

Oh yes, Carl, I thought long and hard about what to say here, how honest to be, how far to go. I know at dinner we're not supposed to talk about politics and religion. Maybe at blogs too it isn't wise.

Modeling is the most powerful teacher, it's true. And you are not right about me and mistakes, I've made plenty! But I have sought to teach our children that it is in the mistakes that we are made, and we all make mistakes, so we have to figure out how to forgive the ones that have hurt us. I don't live my life any more worrying about not making mistakes. I try to focus on being in the moment and following my heart and mind in balance. But it doesn't always work out, I mean when I am out of balance.

Ruth said...

Hehe, Helena, she didn't, not with Don's protective fingers around them. But there is no question she would have otherwise.

Maybe all the preacher's kids needed to express themselves after the years of suppression. :) Ahhhh, blogs.

Ruth said...

Cori, yay!

According to some who might be there, heaven could be a pretty glum place.

Not judging is one of the big lessons of this life of mine. I have a big ole J living in me that I've been working on extricating for a couple of years. I see "him" as a big brute of a giant guy in Nazi uniform.

Ruth said...

Hi, Anet!

I find that my confusion and anxiety only comes when I listen to the judgments I've always heard against paganism (I am hearing Nautankey say he doesn't see anything wrong with sounding Pagan - hear hear!). Now, worship of the earth seems no less divine to me than worship of a God we can't see. It makes more sense in fact. It is Life - and who knows what that is anyway??

Ruth said...

Me so happy Drowsey is back.

Thank you, m' dear. I agree about the 4 seasons and feeling the dramatic changes - wonderful! I love how there is relief each time the next one comes, no matter how much we longed for the last.

I had not heard of Crossan, thanks. Reminds me of the book by Jack Miles: God, a Biography. Straightforward and using the original texts, looking at how God evolves over time in the scripture. I mean, he doesn't sound like the same guy over time! And who is this Jesus anyway, with a father like that!

Ruth said...

Hi, Oliag, it's nice to know when someone shares my feelings in this.

I consider myself agnostic too, and somewhat pagan, though I haven't yet jumped over any bonfires. I plan to, just haven't gotten around to it.

I think it is easy to institutionalize anything - Christianity, paganism, Robert Bly and his warriors - anything. I don't want to do that, to be entrenched. I want every day to be fresh and unencumbered.

I love the comments too. This is where it becomes special for me.

Ruth said...

Yay, PKs unite, Andromeda!

If I had ever sat through a service such as you described I don't think I would have had any problems. I felt my own heart swell reading your description.

The power of symbols and images!

Ruth said...

Peter, oh! I never knew about the feathers for decorations. I also didn't know before visiting Paris in April one year that they use fish for decorations too, more so than what we use: bunnies. We saw chocolate fishies in the patisseries.

Joyeuses Pâques to you too! I miss Paris in April.

Ruth said...

Excellent points, Loring.

And yay! Loring thinks I’m smart!

Denying suffering and inflicting it are very different things. Causing undue suffering – through war in the name of God, for instance, is horrific.

To live is to suffer, as well as to feel pleasure. We know which we prefer, and we keep doing the things that bring pleasure. It takes discipline not to be total hedonists. We avoid suffering if we can, and I think those who inflict pain on themselves a la the Dan Brown character in Angels and Demons are missing the point of Christ’s suffering, since his sacrifice was not meant only as a model, but as propitiation. Some use it as a model, and maybe that’s the point of the stations of the cross, or maybe the point is just to remember. I don’t really know, not having ever heard teaching about it or read much about it. What is the meaning in it for your progressives in Co Springs?

As for what I grew up with, I sure didn’t suffer much, but I was confused a lot. As a human learning to be, I didn’t know what to do with feelings that were constantly denied and suppressed. It took some work to think it through, and that’s fine, it was not a completely unpleasant task to use my mind and process the teachings I’d received with what I knew from experience and my own heart.

Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs? I don’t give it a lot of weight now, but when I took it, when Don and I were first married, we both found it helpful in understanding each other since we were opposites in all four areas. (I am ENFJ and Don is ISTP.) You know, I might not get the same results now, it would be interesting to see. But I think my results show how I was deprived of expressing my feelings and also of thinking! We were told what to think, and I sorta lived out of body and mind all those years, puppet-like.

As for symbols, images and icons, I don’t mean to speak for Cathy, but for myself: I recognize that experiencing the world through human form for some is more meaningful with images to look at, visualize and hold. And I thinks that's ok.

ds said...

Ruth, I keep coming back to this, fascinated by your words and all of the comments they have inspired. To set down all of the thoughts everyone has sparked today would take up too much space, so I will just say thank you. Amen--and thank you.

Dakota Bear said...

Interesting and thought provoking post, I like it.

The picture of your cat and the chicks is adorable.

It is difficult to accept man's imposed ritual on the Word of God.

Anna said...

Hey Ruth refreshing Easter post. Happy Easter to you too. I love your chic photos. That reminded me how my parents used to by small chicks from the incubator, and keep them in the wood stove compartment to keep them warm. Thanks for good memories, and you have a good Easter weekend. Anna :)

Ruth said...

DS, too bad we can't sit with a cup and let the conversation take us into a few hours worth of topics. I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Ruth said...

Dakota Bear, man has made a mess of things.

Yet, man has made art, music, scientific discovery, such beauty and joy!

I believe we all have a divine life within us. We just have to shed our onion layers and see it, let it out.

Ruth said...

Hi, Anna, thank you.

Don has memories like that from childhood too. It's a sweet thing to do as a child. We are taking some new chicks to our 3-year-old niece today, we did it last Easter too, and she loved it. We have a little aquarium with a heat lamp. There is a photo on my sidebar of her toes and a chick - and also the wonderful painting by Sandy of the photo.

rauf said...

The monkey dominates Ruth,
ah ah says the monkey when i join the festivities. i push the monkey aside, for a while.

otin said...

Nice post! I love the picture at the bottom, also!

Ruth said...

Dance an Easter dance with the monkey, rauf.

Ruth said...

Thanks a bunch, Otin! Loved your Easter poem. :)

Barry said...

Very interesting post, Ruth and I loved the picture of the cat with the chicks.

I was just over reading Dave's Pics and Pieces Bog where he was bemoaning the fascination the great artists have with the crucifixion and how disinterested they seem to have been in the Resurrection.

It is pain and agony that sells newspapers I guess.

renaye said...

i love the picture!!!! i want to hug ur cat!

anyways, i miss eating those easter bunnies choc.

Wrensong Farm said...

I was raised Catholic, dabbled in other religions more out of curiosity. Now I am a born again Pagan. :) and really enjoy celebrating holidays and their pagan roots....like Easter, and re-birth.
I adore your pic of Bishop (who looks like he could be a twin to my Coopurrrr, albeit Coopurrrr would be an "evil" twin...as he was stalking my quail yesterday)and the chicks. Perfect!!

Ruth said...

Hi, Barry, my friend Gayla said that in the book I mentioned they discuss the possible reasons artists began depicting the crucifixion so much. One was that they might have been portraying their own suffering!

Ruth said...

Renaye, I'll hug Bishop for you, but you must get yourself some chocolate!

Ruth said...

Tammy, I like that "born again pagan." :) I keep asking myself, what difference does it make what is in our heads, what we think about any of it? It really only makes a difference for ourselves and our outlook - or on others if we force our beliefs on them.

Bishop is a "she" and has a twin brother named Blake. We gave him away to a fried of Peter's, I wonder how he is. He was not evil, but he sure got into a heap of trouble. And he wanted to be indoors with us, and we wanted only outdoor cats. So we found him a nice home with a sweet girl - inside.

Deslilas said...

Your bishop is a wise and smart cat.

Sandy said...

OMG this is adorable!

Ruth said...

Daniel, . . . and elegant and sweet.

Ruth said...

Sandy, I wonder what the scene would have been like if we weren't there?

Ginnie said...

Wonderfully spoken, Sister! And the image of Bishop kissing the chick is Eternalized!

Ruth said...

Boots, thank you, and yes, some pictures speak a thousand words.