I spent a good part of yesterday (Holy Saturday) reading “Indian’s Don’t Cry” by George Kenny. It seemed like an appropriate book to read on the day that places solemn distance between the devastating events of Good Friday and the astonishing resurgence of life on Easter Sunday. Kenny’s collection of poems and short stories chronicles snippets of particular lives of First Nations people who’ve suffered the relentless press and crush of colonialism for many generations now. Yet Kenny’s book is surprisingly hope-filled. If only in his beautiful word-craft, telling grim histories, there is ample evidence of a burgeoning Easter dawn.
From a short review I posted last night:
“I once wrote that Jesus was mistakenly tried and executed by a brutal, colonizing power as an insurgent, when really… Jesus was a resurgent. It strikes me on this day that George Kenny is also a resurgent, giving his text the surreal quality of a Holy Saturday; that time between times that is the measured, but ultimately hopeful span and link between the Good Fridays and Easter Sundays that make up humanity’s long pilgrimage from Lent to Love.”
Read full review HERE…
I’m reminded of a blog I posted last year for Lazarus Saturday (the day before Palm Sunday) which recalls Jesus’ raising of Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha, lived in Bethany, a town whose name, appropriate for many of its inhabitants, means House of Misery. And I couldn’t help but see the connection between the man, the name of the town, the events of Easter weekend, and the book I just read.
More recently I wrote a song, or a partial song at least, called Bethany in the Morning. I’ve only recorded a rather unflattering version of it on my iPad. No doubt I’ll eventually round out the song with an additional verse or two. But George Kenny’s book moved me, reminding me of the blog and the song, and I feel like sharing what’s there to share:
BETHANY IN THE MORNING – Steve Bell
Praise the Lord
Who has come to help the house of misery
Who’ve been crying
Comes the light
Breaks the dawn
Can you feel a ray of hope for those whose hope is gone
Lift your head
Dry your eyes
Time for rising