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Anais Vionet Jul 25
It was a cool, overcast and windy Sunday morning in March 2014. We were about 50 miles from Paris, at my Grandmère’s (grandmother’s) farm. She lives in Paris, but she owns a Château and surrounding 1,100-hectare farm that she calls her “fall retreat.”

Between three and five hundred people work on the farm, the Château and its surrounding shops (some work is seasonal). The shops sell wool, cheese, wine and ice cream produced on the farm, as well as touristy things. Many of the employees live on the farm, rent free. Their homes, owned by the farm, form a hameau (village). I didn’t understand much of this at the time, I was 10 years old.

My Grandmère was dedicating a new store just off the village green. The green wasn’t square, like those in the UK and it didn’t have swings or a slide, as I’d hoped. You’d think I’d know a hamlet my Grandmère owned but this place was alien to me. I’d arrived as part of her entourage but as the presentation ground on, I got bored. So, I took Charles by the hand and off we went.

We (my little nuclear family) were living in the UK then and we were visiting Paris for the Easter holiday. The fall before, as the school year had started, a girl in my grade (4th grade or year 5 in the UK) had been kidnapped and murdered on her way home from school. My Grandmère was “having none of it,” and hired Charles, a burly, red-headed, just retired, ex-NYC cop, as my security, escort and practical nanny. He’d been with me for about half a year, at that point, and we’d become fast friends.

It was the height of the pre-summer, Easter season. In addition to the villagers, there were tourists everywhere, picnicking on the grass, visiting the shops and playing football (soccer). Most of the tourists seemed to have small children that ran around. The townspeople sat on benches, eating ice creams and playing dominoes or quoits, a horseshoes-like game, played on a sand pitch.

You couldn’t mistake the two groups - the natives and the tourists. The towns folk were plainly dressed, the women in simple smocks and sweaters, the men wearing slacks, tweed jackets, berets or tag hats. The tourists spoke other languages - there were Italians, Britts, Germans and even Americans - who wore sports logoed t-shirts, shorts, sneakers and baseball caps.

As Charles and I wandered around the village, I asked, “Can we get a sirop?” One of the most popular drinks, in France, is a grenadine sirop (soda). We stopped and as Charles bought us drinks, I wandered a way off. He found me, moments later, hanging from a tree limb, upside down, my hair sweeping the grass like a broom.

“Stop that,” he’d said, swooping me up and off the branch with his soda free hand and setting me alright. As he picked leaves out of my hair, he said, “Don’t wander away from me like that, you know better.” “Yes sir” I agreed. A moment later, he picked me up and placed me atop a low, four-foot parapet wall that ran around the village. I could feel sharp, rough stone edges through my cotton dress but I drank my sirop and didn’t complain.

“You saved me from the dragon,” I said, after my first few sips.
“What dragon?” he said.
“The dragon that had me in its teeth, over there.” I pointed at the tree where I’d been upside down.
“I saved you from yourself,” he said, as he looked around the square.
“That’s silly,” I announced, “how can someone need saving from themselves?”
“Oh, It happens all the time,” he said.

The event ended and as people began leaving, they filed by us on the sidewalk. The village men doffed their hats and the women nodded a quick curtsey as they passed. “Why are they doing THAT?” I asked Charles, “am I a princess?”
“No,” he snorted, “you’re no kind of princess. They’re doing it out of respect for your illustrious grandmother.” “Oh,” I said disappointedly.

A moment later our car pulled up and we were headed back to the city. “Did you have fun?” my Grandmère asked, “yes mam,” I answered. “Did you behave yourself?” She followed up. “Mostly,” I admitted. She nodded, pronouncing, “That’s how it should be,” as the limo turned onto the autoroute (expressway) and accelerated for lunch in Paris.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Illustrious: a person that’s highly admired and respected.
Anais Vionet Apr 9
In this beautiful place of worship, the pews are padded but uncomfortable, the sanctuary large, candle lit and cold.

There's a huge glass dome and I can see the stars. Are the stars our fiery heaven??

No, I don't think the stars care about us - they don't burn with affection or passion. And if the stars weren't there we could live with an empty sky.

The Greeks would call on our star, the Sun, to perform their acts of God. I imagine most of their prayers went unanswered - not unlike our own??

To me, the whole Jesus story is somewhat sinister and inauspicious, but if Jesus, the son of God, and that whole story were the deepest, truest reality - then why hasn't Jesus returned??

Imagining heaven's father and son dialog

God: "Ok, Jesus, time to go back.."
Jesus: "Go back... go back?? Daaaaad... Did you see what they DID to me???.. nailed me to a cross; ***** them, there's no way I'm going back. Why don’t you try going back, as an ordinary man - maybe they’ll set you on fire.”

These 20 millennium old bible stories aren't exactly Euclid's logical system.... I mean, the various books aren't even consistent. Are these really, I mean really our beliefs? Or are they just kind of traditions and good rules to live by?

My parents - unlikely pilgrims in the intoxicating poetry of belief - face front and appear to be listening... in all other things they're so skeptical - it's a puzzle.

If Jesus did come back, wouldn't he practically be a caveman surrounded by bewildering technology?

I'm sorry, There's something too rich in creation for these rehearsed responses and fairy-tale fragments from a primitive world to be the answer.

Now I'm not saying there is no God or no life after death.. I.. just.. hopeless shrug

So, anyway - I go through the motions, I chant the litanies with the enthusiasm of obedience; just storing up my spiritual loot and hiding my questioning, heathen heart.

Happy Easter everyone!
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Auspicious: is full of promise
Steve Page Apr 7
“Here is the man!” said Pilate. And then,
“Here is your king!” said Pilate again,
thinking that keeping open all options
usually paid ample dividends.

But not this time, learnt Pilate:
when politics fail, mob rule succeeds
he thought ‘I need to nail my colours
and someone other than me

has to die for the lie
that I’m the innocent one.
That’s when I missed my one chance.
to hail God’s one Son.

I had my one chance
to accept the true Truth,
but opted instead
to make an excuse.

Don’t do as I did.
Don’t pass up the offer
to worship this Jesus,
true Son of the Father.

I got just one thing right:
He’s the King of the Jews
But don’t kid yourself,
cos He’s your King too.
for Good Friday service at  See the original in John 19.
Khoisan Apr 7
To us as gifts were
given 12 metal keys
the rustiest
is forgiveness
it's grace got blessed
by the giver of life.
Paul Butters Mar 30
It’s blue sky brightly sunny
As we await the Easter Bunny.
Still some clouds about
Rain might have a shout.

Remembering when Jesus died on the cross
Only to beat Death
So no longer a loss.

Let’s throw off our shackles too
Enjoy those Easter eggs,
Quaff a golden brew
And drain the barrel to the dregs.

It might be a crime to tire of rhyme
But give me a minute or two
Rhyme isn’t a favourite of mine
So I might not carry this through.

Forsythias, Daffies and now Mahonias
Gold flowers full of sun
Thinking of Begonias
Adding to the fun.

The Amaryllis must be out
Giving us a mighty shout
Other flowers too
What a lovely view.

**** and Robins are flitting around
Making lots of birdsong sound.
We’ve just sprung forward,
As you know,
So Nature is putting on
A bit of a show.

Symbolic eggs will soon be eaten
That chocky taste just can’t be beaten.
So enjoy Easter everyone.
Let’s hope we’ll be basking in the sun.

Paul Butters

© PB 30\3\2023.
Isaace Mar 10
As we walked through the old church, once more,
We saw little Andoni was there, sitting scared,
Asking us: "have you forgotten our prayer?"
He was angry and very square.

And, in the corner,
Shrouded by smoke,
Mahershalah Ali was there.
He watched on with an exalted air.

So we carried little Andoni to the aqueduct.
And we sat in the aqueduct— square.
And we sat in the aqueduct until midnight,
Where we had first conceived of our prayer.
Steve Page Feb 13
Even at my young age I was suspicious of the easter confectioners.

Even while feeling the excitement rise, breaking into the thin cardboard casing
and unwrapping the fragile patchwork of chocolate,
even as I found the seam and tried and failed to make a clean break
even at that first crack, in my child-like cynicism I felt the disappointment
of the hollowness of an easter egg.

The half shell cradled the fallen fragments,
allowing me to collect every flake with a wet finger,
but still I felt cheated, more so as my mother insisted
that we save the rest til later,
her words somehow conspiring
with the glass and a half chocolate makers,
seeking to dress up the thin, brittle shell
to appear more than its fragile inadequacy.

Then grandad came

with a two pound purple brick of a bar,
fresh from his fridge,
and he challenge us to a bizarre dressing up feast
where we'd attack the mountainous chocolate
armed with a knife and fork, hampered by hat, scarf and mittens,
gambling against the next throw of the dice, against racing siblings,
to hatchet chunks from the heavy tablet
and shovel as many broken shards into our mouths
before, at the roll of a six, the woollen regalia was wrenched from us,
leaving us with only the prospect
of our empty shell of Easter disappointment.

Happy Easter.
Childhood memories from 1960s London
nyant Apr 2022
A story ****** draconian,
puzzling many a historian,
in the bleakest hour,
display of weakest power,
of God on Golgotha,
on the heal of heartache,
hung the broken Potter,
lightning severing the snake,
thunder tore the veil,
that all the dead may wake,
what a glorious tale.
Alyssa Underwood Apr 2022
“Why seek the Living One among the dead?“
asked angels to a few who‘d watched the Lord
be crucified—His blood and life outpoured,
“He is not here! He‘s risen as He said!“
In days before these women wept in grief
as Jesus‘ lifeless body, wrapped in shroud,
lay buried, guarded, sealed from Paschal crowd,
but by God‘s plan entombment would be brief!
His slaying served full payment for the debt
incurred against Himself by mankind‘s sin.
His raising proved His sacrifice the win
to satisfy God‘s wrath, my debts forget!
Because Christ Jesus died but ever lives,
the sin of all who trust Him God forgives!
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