Holy Saturday, they call it, and here I sit, grieving.
In the wee hours of Thursday morning, Maundy Thursday in the Christian calendar, Pom left us, the little dog about whom I’d been writing, the gentle spirit over whom I’d been praying, the world’s sweetest creature whom I’d accompanied to Raleigh so that she could have the surgery that would save her. And that fine team of medical professionals had worked their best and saved her, and we’d been so excited and grateful and we’d come home to the mountains to celebrate, and two days later a fast-acting infection set in, and her soft flesh, recovering, her weakened little bodyself couldn’t withstand any more trauma, and so she is gone from us, with the countless many who have left this place we call home, this earth we share, we humans and other animals and bits of creation, the countless many creatures dead and gone, leaving us here to grieve, to take that last step in all true love.
And sometime during this period, on or close to Good Friday, somewhere beyond the small personal space of my grieving Pom, Trump and his generals dropped the super-giant MOAB — the great Mother of All Bombs — obscene name for an obscene invention — on some caves in Afghanistan. This, we are told, was to kill some ISIS fighters and destroy their stockpiles of weapons. But also, we know, this show of violence was for the benefit of the crazed leader of North Korea and anybody else who doubts the madness of our man who loves war toys and will not hesitate to lob some your way if he decides you’re one of the bad guys. “Sad.” “Terrible.” “The Worst,” he declares, pumping his fist in the air to show what a big boy bully god he is over the whole world. “Believe me.”
There is nothing new about the madness playing out on the world stage — crazed, greedy, men who love themselves most and who hurl obscenities at each other, including bombs — just as there is nothing new about losing our loved ones. Nothing at all new about human depravity or about the dying of those whom we love. But still, there are a couple of old lessons that we have a hard time learning:
Madness and evil are human productions which invite — no, which demand — human responses. We can respond with bombs and obscenities of our own to throw back at the madmen or we can work for their undoing in whatever creative nonviolent resistance movements we can build together. The effort to dump Trump is, for example, neither violent nor obscene. It is a moral imperative.
Grief is not a human production. Grief is shared by many species. Many of us believe grief is also woven into the fabric of the Spirit from whom it emanates, the Sacred Power whose strongest impulse is to beat those bombs into plowshares as surely as she is sad, but ready, to receive into the fullness of her ongoing presence the life and death of one small Pomeranian.
It’s the presence and power of this Sacred Spirit, this irrepressible and reliable Source of Love, that we can count on. Tomorrow, Easter Day, Christians will celebrate our shared belief that She is unable to be undone by bullies and bombs. Our grief and our everlasting love for all creatures, including those whom we lose, has the last word.
Pom, not Trump, wins the day.