|John Boorman & Sarah Miles - 1987|
It seems that for Easter it is de rigueur to watch either The Ten Commandments or Ben Hur. This Easter weekend, my first alone since 1967 (when I met and then married my Rosemary), I have chosen to watch nothing.
For me Lent and Easter is all about my youth. On Thursdays in Buenos Aires my mother and grandmother would visit 7 churches on Holy Thursday. On Good Friday I was not allowed to turn on the radio. If I was playing outside on the street with my friends, I would be called in at 3 when my grandmother would read us the Stations of the Cross and Christ’s Last Seven Words.
Because I was around 8 this whole experience was one of ritual. Rito, in Spanish is closer to the idea of a religious ritual and not only to something done for tradition.
I believe that my religious beliefs are something personal and I will not reveal what they might be here.
Good Friday for me is sombre and melancholic as I remember my mother and grandmother. It is about growing up and finding it difficult to understand religious concepts. These became clear to me at the Roman Catholic boarding school in Austin, Texas that I attended in the late 50s. And now, at 78, I find it interesting to investigate (fine essay on the subject in the NY Times) why it was that if Jesus was resurrected in perfection on Easter, he still had the wounds that ultimately interested the doubting St. Thomas.
One does not need to be extremely religious or to believe everything to find that subject of Jesus’s wounds as fascinating.
Easter is for me a moment for reflection and thinking about being re-born. Because my Rosemary died last December 9, my idea of being reborn is more about a preparation to die and to make life for my two daughters and two granddaughters an easy one to deal with. It would seem that for me to be reborn now is to shed possessions.
Anybody who has gotten this far might wonder why it is that I have photographs of film director John Boorman and actress (I am old-fashioned) Sarah Miles. The reason is that I photographed them in 1987 when they were in town to promote the film Hope and Glory. It is an autobiographical film about Boorman’s childhood in war-time London. This fine film, without chariots or with the sound of Heston’s booming voice, replicates my idea that Easter is about growing up and discovering one’s reason in life and for living it.
For me in this beautiful 2021 sunny Easter Sunday, I hope that I will make do without the presence of my Rosemary and somehow live life in a way that she would approve.