Monday, March 24, 2008

Giant, Jesus

I've never been much of an Easter fan. Quite honestly I don't understand it. Plenty of you know that I've most certainly cannonballed into religion a few times throughout my life. I even, oddly, became a hardcore Christian fundamentalist at one point, but I still can't wrap my mind around the dying-for-our sins thing. When I think of the tales of Jesus, I think fondly. Truly. I think Jesus was awesome. But when I went to church regularly, as a Catholic child and again when I rebirthed myself as a teen, I would look around at patrons who nodded and amen'd wondering how they grasped this concept so easily or willingly. The seven heavens and hells of Buddhism make more sense. (Not really) The natural deities of santeria make more sense. Dying for my what now? What sin? The original one? Am I still part of that? Are we naturally all clusterfucky inside that Jesus died for generations of future stuff? Or does he die on the daily. I know the idea is that we are connected to humanness, this apparent original sin, and this sacrifice will deter a trip to hell if we accept Jesus as this Taker of Sins, but still I can't help but think that a major part of this story is grossly misinterpreted. Like so many other spiritual concepts. I go through this yearly. I can work out a lot of stuff with some serious concentration, but this? Not so much yet.

The Easter Bunny thing kind of annoys me too. It just doesn't excite me to get a basket together for the kids. Like Halloween, obviously, I love. And Christmas I love, and I make a big deal over birthdays. "We gotta pick and choose," Husband said over the weekend. "So, we don't like this holiday so much." Which is why I'm extra thankful that our tradition for the last two years is that both Maya and Mina spend Easter with BD and Sanne. Thanks BD & Sanne!

I did bake for Easter though. I don't need much of an excuse for that. I stumbled across this brilliant German blog called Delicious Days. She has this recipe for a cookie apparently called Brombeerbusser which, is there a greater name for a simple cookie? I just mumble brombeerbusser often now and god knows if I'm saying it right. The name and the cookie are kinda all jumbled together with this year's contemplation of the dying for sins confusion. Good thing these taste so good. I was gonna insert a lame joke about them being sinful, but I'll spare you. Just look at the picture, will you. Here's my vegan version of Brombeerbusser:
I made these, too, for an order. Vegan chocolate with chocolate ganache and fondant flowers.
I'm not yet comfortable labeling the goods without the word "vegan". Obviously it's all vegan, but I don't want anyone to ever wonder . . . Just another thing I'm grappling with here.

Saturday night I went and saw one of my favorite movies as a kid on the big screen; George Steven's 1956 film Giant with James Dean, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor. I was worried it would be dated, but it was pretty fantastic. Three hours of epicness. I watched a lot of James Dean as a kid and in this film he seemed so awkwardly great and tragic, more so than usual if that's possible. Dean died before the release of Giant. As a kid, I didn't realize how bravely, for its time, the movie tackled racism. And with a much lighter touch addressed sexism. I read some post that said a lot of the hanging of the flags in the film was done inaccurately -- a flag draped wrongly on a coffin and a line-up flags positioned out of order -- and some suggest this was done purposely. Anyway, I've been thinking about the movie since. Not to mention about how absolutely stunning the actors and wardrobe were. W.O.W.

If Easter eludes me, Spring captivates. It's in full force here in Cali. The breeze and blooms and green; this I can worship without a glitch or question.


Rebel Girl said...

Love Giant. Sal Mineo! Mercedes McCambridge! Liz! Rock! Jimmy Dean! That big sky! Those big hats!

That scene in the diner with Sarge and the Yellow Rose of Texas playing. The kid's big eyes.

Tino Villanueva wrote a book-length poem about it called: "Scene from the Movie Giant."


Marigoldie said...

A few years ago I watched Giant to see what all the fuss was about and boy was it clear. James Dean's icon status didn't come from just dying young, I soon learned. That movie is so rich and gorgeous. Love.

Easter was dear to me in my own church years. I loved the hymns, like "Up from the Grave He Arose" (I would listen for the old men's bullfroggy voices on "Up.") I loved going to sunrise service and getting a new dress for it--the only time of year I was allowed. But anymore I just feel sort of awkward about it, me being all spiritually apathetic now. I've never understood the whole tons-o-swag thing at Easter.

Hil The Thrill said...

I got through the easter basket thing by getting things that were more personal for the basket. It was more expensive, but better than the same ol' redundant jelly beans. Sandals. A paperback. Cheap sunglasses.
As for the word vegan, I say USE IT USE IT USE IT! Not only is cupcake stunningly beautiful and delicious its (sing it like a choir of angels...) VEEEEEEEGAAAAAN! :)

Pixielyn said...

Well...........How about this: The original holiday was a celebration of the Goddess of Fertility, then the good ol Christians tied it into Christs death. Celebrating the Goddess of Fertility with your baked goods would be a GREAT celebration. I agree to the confusion of his death absolving our sins for all time, but if I think of it as a symbol than I can deal with the honoring it. About the basket thing tho, where did THAT come from? I do it because my child get IMMENSE pleasure from the holiday, if you all dont than I think that is cool too!~ I always put good gifts like someone else above me mentioned, personal coveted items he really wants. One soft thing, one silly thing, a few favored candy things and then good nice gifts.
I'm not vegan, but I rejoice at your celebration of your chosen lifestyle, go ahead and shout "Vegan cupcakes", I love that you are so proud!

John Mc said...

We are not religious at all, but my kids LOVE Easter and the whole hiding the eggs thing. And of course the chocolate.

Not a sweet tooth in any way, but those cup cakes made my mouth water. Is Vegan cholate just 100% cocoa?

madness rivera said...

Oh Rebel, I had a big crush on Sal Mineo from RebelW/OaCause when I was a kid . . .another tragedy.

Hi Marigoldie - Yea, Giant is all that, isn't it? I nearly built a LizTaylor's Lips From Giant Shrine over the weekend. And I love your easter tradition stories. I guess I'd rather hear them, than experience them.

Hey Hil, yea, that's what I do for other gifts, excitingly, but Easter? Feh, sigh. Thanks for the "vegan" input. You too Pixielyn, and GREAT story about the Goddess/Easter thing. I love that kind of tale.

Hi John, vegan chocolate is cocoa, sugar, some cocoa butter, sometimes vanilla, sometimes soy lecithin. Interestingly some of the finest, purest dark chocolate just happens to be vegan.

Jonathan K. Cohen said...

It's nearly the end of March, and your readers have not heard a thing about the NCAA Tournament. Where'd it go? After all, Madness, as in March Madness, is one-half of your name.

judy said...

cool blog. Stop by and check mine out when you get a chance

Michelle Fry said...

I am so behind and haven't stopped by here in forever. The cupcakes look great and I find lots of humor in your take on Easter, probably because it's a lot like mine. The original sin thing bothers me; not just the dying for my sin part but the virgin bith part too. It assumed non virgins are the worst kind of sinners. Oh my.

bazu said...

I loved looking at your Easter lovelies (and reading your astute and funny take on religion- I'm right there with you!). And I totally understand what you mean about labeling everything vegan - I think I'm even going to put a disclaimer about that on my blog, so I can say "milkshake" or "hot dogs" and not have to worry about qualifying them as vegan every time OR worrying that people think I'm having non-vegan things!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

It's tough to drop the "vegan" before everything, but I try to, when I feel it's possible! As usual, lovely little treats!