GOOD FRIDAY REFLECTION

GOOD FRIDAY REFLECTION

The women gather, the women draw back; on the street corner, by the gate, in the shadow. They are passing it on – news about the lines of grief to be found on an ordinary Friday with its multiple goodbyes and memories of the rites of passage from womb to air, sound to sense, first steps to last.

He was on the path even now because it was that time, hauling the unmade bed of a tree on his back. Women approached with a sigh, a look, a lullaby, a wet towel for his face. Tears hardly touched the point of it all, now that all flesh was bowed down, bludgeoned, bound, spat upon.

But like an arm struggling out of a bad dream and reaching for the light, another arm is raised to deliver the wrist-shattering blow. The logic of the institution runs: ‘it is better to have someone die for the people’; like the boy who goes out waving a flag after curfew, or this one high up on faulty scaffolding, searching for a breath, for a sign, and finding none. Nothing more to be done then than hand it over – ‘into your hands’ – only to find that the Father’s hands are tied, shot through with the same nail, ‘the Father and I are one’.

The curious disperse, a soldier takes a swig from a bottle and wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. Time sheds its skin.