Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Religion Affective Disorder

"RAD" - hmm...

I thought, yesterday, that this year might be the exception. It was sunny and warm, I was happy, if a little edgy. But this morning the clouds swept in with a cold wind from the east, and I recognized yesterday's energy for what it was: the manic swing of spring fever. There was no escaping it - the gloom and melancholy that comes with the Holy Week leading up to Easter.

I don't recall feeling this way as a child, but I certainly did when I was a moody adolescent. The Easter narrative plays neatly with psychological conditions that bedevil a teen: the glory of youth and young manhood leading to ill-advised revolutionary impulses (purging the temple dealers), followed by a sense of betrayal and a tumultuous persecution complex, concluding inevitably at the final (albeit torn) curtain. As I got older, and experienced the usual cycles of life, other events fed emotional fuel to the low burn of religious recognition: three of my grandparents have died in the spring, usually within a week or two of Easter, which certainly adds emotional depth and complexity to my identification with the holiday.

I don't like it, but what am I to do? To quote the old soul preacher from Philadelphia, "It's Friday, but Sunday's coming." Easter Monday, for any reason you care to name, usually brings the release and relief I seek.

No comments: