Sunday, April 16, 2006

Ether Sunday

Today is a day about the world's greatest medium who demonstrated that death wasn't real. Instead of seeing his life and demonstration for what it simply was and is, we now have men who dress up in drag in full view of thousands of people who kneel before them thinking about football and the lamb roast. And not to mention little plastic statues that glow in the dark and go on the car dashboard. (1) And let us bow our head and give thanks for eternal hits of peace, like "Onward Christian Soldiers," and "There is a Fountain Filled with Blood" and "Drop kick me, Jesus, Through the Goalposts of Life."(2) To be fair, there are countless hymns of true Risen spirituality, such as the Anglican "Awake, O Sleeper, Rise From Death," and "Sleeper, Wake a Voice Astounds Us." I have an actual hymnal of works gathered and published by early-mid 20th C. spiritualists, so it's good to know that somewhere there will always be a mixture of the ridiculous with the sublime.

One of my cousins used to tell the stupidest jokes when we were little and this one was funny only because she was so funny. 40-odd years later I can see that she wasn't exactly funny in a ha-ha way.

Her brother Bobby was my bestest friend, who died suddenly of meningitis at age 10 -- so I share it with as much dignity as I can. His illness was horribly intense and painful and lasted a week before he transitioned. (His mother, my aunt, recently transitioned in her 80's to join him and his father.) I remember my mother taking me between her knees and struggling to tell me, at the age of 5, about my first experience with death. She was careful and compassionate and very brave. I cried long and hard but probably for reasons different than she thought. I knew that he had gone off to the land of beautiful forests and meadows and was now playing with people who had been visiting me since I could remember. I was heart-broken not because Bobby was "dead" but because I couldn't go with him and play anymore. Strangely, and sadly to me, I've never had contact from him in spirit. Their ways are strange and mysterious.

So is his sister Diane's joke:

"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"Ether."
"Ether who?"
"Ether bunny."
"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"Cargo."
"Cargo who?"
"Cargo beep beep and run over the ether bunny."


______________________________________
(1) "I don't care if it rains or freezes,
s'long as I got my plastic Jeezus,
sitten on the dashboard of my car...."

(2) "Drop Kick Me Jesus Through the Goal Posts of Life"
Song from Bobby Bare Greatest Hits, Bareworks Inc.
Words and music by Paul Craft.CD, BWCD-040292

Chorus:
Drop kick me Jesus through the goal posts of life
End over end neither left nor to right
Straight through the heart of them righteous uprights
Drop kick me Jesus through the goal posts of life.

Make me, oh make me, Lord more than I am
Make me a piece in your master game plan
Free from the earthly tempestion below
I’ve got the will, Lord if you’ve got the toe.

(chorus)

Take all the brothers who’ve gone on before
And all of the sisters who’ve knocked on your door
All the departed dear loved ones of mine
Stick’em up front in the offensive line.

(chorus)

Yeah, Drop kick me Jesus through the goal posts of life
End over end neither left nor to right
Straight through the heart of them righteous uprights
Drop kick me Jesus through the goal posts of life.

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