Monday, April 25, 2011

Ivan DeJesus

Ivan DeJesus. He was always a perplexing baseball card for me. I pronounced his name De-JEE-sus for about a year. Thinking it was pretty ballsy for someone to put Jesus's name in their own name.

I'm not sure why, but I frequently think about Ivan DeJesus around this time of year. Could be the preponderance of "Jesus" sprinkled through conversation via Easter; the fact that baseball season is in full swing (sorry); or some other connection I haven't pinned down yet.

It's an interesting thing, talking about/explaining Easter to kids. The rising from the dead thing, the killing Jesus in the first place, and then the whole why-the-fu*%-is-there-a-rabbit-hiding-eggs-in-our-house conundrum.

I dig Easter--for its timing, riding high on spring breezes and warming temps; for its colors and the girls rocking Easter dresses; for eyes lighting up on egg hunts and finding the strangely hidden eggs, the ones that are up high or supremely camouflaged; for the Easter egg that gets found a day or two after Easter.

I dig Easter for its focus on renewal. Our church has a tradition of covering an entire six- or seven-foot cross with flowers, to symbolize new life, where everyone brings in cut flowers and puts them on the cross. I can sit and stare at it for the whole service.

I dig Easter for the focus on faith. For contemplating life, death, sacrifice, rebirth, perspective, thanks.

Funny, I've always taken Easter and the resurrection as a metaphor for spiritual awakening or rebirth, not as an actual zombie-come-back-from-the-dead situation (I have seen folks tweeting about zombie Jesus). I guess it seems that if you dig what Jesus taught, how he lived his life, what he stands for, you don't need the resurrection as proof positive that he was right. You just take it at face value.

The rebirth/eternal life vibe is one that comes up in Christianity, Buddhism, etc. and I think each faith has something worthwhile to ponder on it.

Then again, what do I know. I spent a year thinking a guy's name was Ivan De-Jee-sus.


Stephen G. Bardsley said...

MV, Im always entertained by the artist pictures of Jesus Christ, with the white skin, Valiant-esque beard and the long hair. The actuality is that the place he was from in the Mediteranean region, he probably looked more like the Ivan on your baseball card! Speaking of old baseball cards, check out my latest blog on bardsley sport art. I know you will dig it! Later, Bards

Michael Valliant said...

Much respect to Al Bumbry, Stephen :) And to your drawing and your experience with him. Great stuff, man!