HOly Thursday- Joy Harjo.

Today is Holy Thursday in Catholic-landia.  So at Services tonight communities wash each other's feet.  It is actually done in all sorts of different ways depending on the parish. As Catholics we remember the last supper at every mass but something about tonight also points to the last supper.  I imagine Jesus, the disciples, a handful of women, a couple of kids, maybe a baby or two gathered around in a house that is a tad too small for all the bodies.  And, I imagine all the life hovering around the table and Jesus stopping- and sharing bread and wine with them.  Then, perhaps after dinner washing the feet of the disciples, of the women who cooked the food, of the kid who keeps licking the snot off of her upper lip...

Holy Thursday is good ritual. Footwashing, story telling, breaking open the word.

 I usually go to this service as part of my work.  But today I am laid up.   I have strep throat, a fever and am feeling really really lousy. So here is my offering today, on this sick day. This day when I feel too lousy to sit at a table.

Perhaps the World Ends Here

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.

The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.

We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.

It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.

Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.

We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.

At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.
"Perhaps the World Ends Here" from The Woman Who Fell From the Sky by Joy Harjo. Copyright © 1994 by Joy Harjo. Used by permission of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., www.wwnorton.com.

Source: The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (W. W. Norton and Company Inc., 1994)


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