How do Christians cope with Good Friday?They proclaim that Christ was killed on the cross and pretend for a day or two that this was the end. And then, hey presto, up he pops again, conquering death – allegedly.To take this myth as literal is absurd and yet, the power of the Easter Narrative has given us some of the greatest works of Art.If I have any belief in eternal life, it is that the truths behind the Gospel stories remain as vital as they have always been.
The Fetternear Banner dates from the 16th C. and has remained in remarkably good fettle for some 500 years.Most of the dyes, using vegetable dyestuffs, have retained their vibrant colours; and the double-sided stitching (a costly process) using silk threads has only been eroded where iron dyes were used for creating black thread.There are many familiar symbols – the scallop shell, the dice, the reed, the cockerel – but the most striking element is in the characters. And it is these people with whom we continue to identify, to this day.
Christ’s flagellated body is gruesome; Judas’s purse around his neck becomes a noose as he dolefully contemplates his fate; and the scornful look of the Spitting Jew as he puckers up to hurl his insult at Christ is pitiful, on many levels.I cannot hope to compete with John Donne’s Holy Sonnet XI, but have attempted, in the spirit of the metaphysical, a pun on die/dying/dye. Even if we don’t believe in what some think the church calls God, we still have Art, for all eternity.
Skewing the anonymity with which this blog began (see December 2009), my twitter-biog says “Writer, photographer, poet, composer, phone-box fanatic and film-buff - all to varying degrees of accomplishment.” Here, then, is the evidence: weigh it up.
This is my third blog (the first two, part of my old life, are no longer extant) and was started as a way of lifting the lid on my turreted loneliness and saying, I’m still here, still writing, still alive – and thriving. The window is open: come in and have a look around. And follow me on
NB: All poetry and prose on this blog is entirely fictional; comment and opinion is my own.