I had a conversation with a friend of mine today, about the effort to put meaning to one’s own life.
It’s no surprise this topic arose on the day after the Easter holiday.
The overwhelming image of the past weekend for me was graffiti on the door of an abandoned church near Bloor and Dovercourt. This mighty old red brick edifice, now surrounded by a wire fence, hung with signs reading “Power Of Sale” seemed a somber sight on Good Friday… the more so, as a hand-scrawled message on the door read “Jesus has left the building. You are now on your own. You’ll have to work things out for yourselves.”
But a second writer had modified the original message, with a parallel possibility: “Jesus Is Everywhere”. Cheering, surely, especially for the former congregation of that bereft building. But what about those, like me and many others, who find themselves not entirely comforted by either sentiment?
Sure, I worship in my way. I spent Easter Sunday the company of friends and loved ones, visiting the McMichael Collection, a temple of Canadian creativity surrounded by a stunning white pine forest, set in rolling hills.
I’m at peace with finding divinity in a place like that, whether it’s gazing at Lawren Harris’ icebergs, or communing with Norval Morriseau’s spirit people, or simply running my hand over the board-and-batten walls of Tom Thomson’s shack.
I believe in a resurrection of spirit that accompanies a brisk walk and a breath of fresh air beneath a blue April sky.
Still, putting the meaning to the moments between those moments tests my strength, my resolve, and indeed, my faith.
What exactly is it, I wonder, that I believe in? And is it possible to make meaning of something that can’t even be said?