La Pascua, Part II: No One Else Has to Die


I hadn’t planned on writing about Osama Bin Laden, and still don’t plan to. Just a thought: Bin Laden is dead; now what? Your thoughts?


I’m trying something new for the next few blog posts. I’ve decided to work on the blog ten to fifteen minutes a day. I’m going to try to do this without expectation, to simply write and see what happens, if it helps me sleep better on Monday nights and wake on Tuesdays without that feeling of panic in my chest. So far, so good.

Spring Shoots

And now

One of the best work lessons I’ve ever learned was from a boss I had in my early twenties. After I had spent several hours before and after work, organizing by gender, age, and ethnicity breakout groups for a conference we were coordinating, he sat me down and said, “Michelle, most of the world is mediocre and expects mediocrity in return. If we can deliver a few steps above, then we’re doing okay, and it will be better than anyone expects. So whatever Catholic guilt thing you have going on in you that says you have to be perfect, shut it off while you’re working here. If I didn’t think you were smart and hard-working and amazing, you wouldn’t be here.”

I’ve spent most of my life trying to prove myself, prove that I was worth the praise I received in school, that I deserved to get into Harvard, that I deserved the investment my parents made in my education. But, until that conversation with my boss (and again and again after that), it never occurred to me to question the part of me that demands proof, to turn to it and say, “When will you be satisfied?”

That inner judge is a lot like the birthers. There is a small, but vocal, segment of the population who will never accept that Barack Obama was born in the United States. He will never be American enough. Now that the President has released his long form birth certificate, Orly Taitz, a leading attorney for the birther movement, has joined minister Wiley Drake to ask that their lawsuit, demanding Obama’s removal from office be reinstated. UPI reports that Taitz told California’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, “Analysis shows it is not a true and correct image of his birth certificate but a creative computer image.” The story goes on to say that Taitz alleged the Obama administration pressured the legal system to suppress the truth.

Clearly these guys will never be satisfied.

Maíz en el Valle Sur

One of the lessons I carried away from the Ventana workshop had to do with gentleness, learning to observe with gentleness, and gently finding ways to bring myself back into being. This is a fairly new concept for me. Easter is a time of resurrection and new life, but it comes after a season of death. In order to resurrect, Jesus had to die, and he had to die an excruciatingly painful death. His crucifixion came after a time of sacrifice in the desert. He was betrayed.


Though you won’t often find me in mass, I am Catholic. I can’t help it. The story of Christ in the desert, of his crucifixion and resurrection matters to me, and I feel and live it deeply at this time of year. The mystery of Lent and Easter is that, for those who believe in Christ, a part of us journeys through the desert, dies on Good Friday, and rises to new life on Easter Sunday. The beauty of Christ’s sacrifice, for me, is that someone already did the hardest part. No one else has to be crucified. No one else has to die. We can let go of parts of ourselves, prune our dead branches just as the cottonwood releases the limbs that no longer serve the whole. Suffering is optional.

Next week: La Pascua, Part III: The Weeping Woman

Published in: on May 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Beautiful, my friend.

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