Христос Воскрес! (like bread dough)

April 12, 2020 :: 6:14 PM

station of the cross :: lviv, ukraine :: november 2016

So… in Ukraine, for Easter, you say “Христос Воскрес!” - literally, Christ is risen.

Ukraine is full of religious icons, absolutely gorgeous ones, all over the place. In public! Oh, I was so scandalised by that.

Ukrainians - at least the ones I know - often have altars. My grandparents house had a Virgin Mary tucked in the corner. The relatives I met in Ukraine had one, too.

All that to say, I am not the least bit religious.

So, I find an inordinate amount of joy in the fact that wishing someone a Happy Easter in Ukrainian is basically a reference to a man I don’t believe ever existed, let alone rose from the dead.

I’ve been focused on what it means to be a Ukrainian more than usual lately… and it’s been weird.

Mostly because I wasn’t brought up as Ukrainian. My mother wasn’t having any of it, so I was only exposed when I was at my grandparents’ house. I have a lot of fuzzy memories… stuff that comes to the surface when it’s triggered by something: a news article, a blog post, a random word on a website. Sometimes, I remember things that surprise me and sometimes I wonder how I never put two and two together before.

Wow. I’m in a rambly mood tonight. Possibly, a wee bit manic. (Wanna know a secret? The tone of my writing changes. (I get very parenthetical.) I ramble.)

Back in 2013? 2014? I decided I needed to find myself. (The last time I think I said that in all seriousness was the time I’d told my father that I didn’t want a summer job… that I wanted to take the summer off to go find myself. We’d just thrown my mother into a hole in the ground and gotten served with a restraining order. I was trying to wrap my brain around all of it and being stuck working retail didn’t sound like a place I needed to be right then. Well, he grabbed a napkin and a pen. Drew a map of the house. Put a BIG FUCKING X in the kitchen and told me I was found. God, how I miss that man.)

So yeah. Finding myself.

Fun fact: There’s a book out there called “Losing Your Parents. Finding Yourself.” It was given to me as a gift after I was orphaned. I ended up setting it on fire in the backyard. ( Here’s why.)

Pyromania aside - the title, and the little bit I read before my mother’s ugliness was put out there for all the world to see, really resonated with me. If they hadn’t used my mother’s FUCKING WILL to prove a point, I might have read the rest of it. I might have found solace in it.

But… fire. Fire is good. Fire is cleansing.

Like a phoenix, I rose from the flames.

(Oh, shit, maybe I should take an Ativan and calm down a little bit. Nah, fuck it. If you can’t handle me now, you don’t deserve me later. Better living through science, amiright?)

Anyhoo… My father’s side of family appears to have sprung out of the ground in Nowhere, Maine. A town so small that it doesn’t even qualify for the Census. So that left the other side. HER side.

I’d shied away from everything and anything that reminded me of either my mother or my aunt, and then decided FUCK IT (and, oh, if you didn’t see that coming, I’m utterly disappointed in you.)

I decided to learn the language, re-learn the culture, discover myself.

I’d been a casual learner, Even when I went to Ukraine, I wasn’t anywhere near fluent despite all the lessons.

I’d kept up the lessons when we got back from Lviv, but then we moved to Florida and everything went arse over tits.

Now, at my temp job, I’m surrounded by Spanish speaking people. Instead of making me want to learn Spanish (God, I hate that language. I took Latin and French so I didn’t have to take Spanish.), I’ve been inspired to re-focus on Ukrainian.

And now, it’s fucking Easter.

The last time I spent Easter with a family member (Ukrainian or not), was the year we went to LL Bean to buy kayaks. A certain family member called me, yelled at me for not going to church like a good Ukie, and then asked me to come to Easter dinner. Blocking that phone number was one of the best things I ever did.

But, I digress.

Again.

A few months ago, I got a weird Facebook “call” from my youngest cousin. Shocked that she’d reach out to me, I assumed the worst. Nah. Nothing that exciting. But before I knew it I was FB friends with her, her sister, and my godfather’s daughter.

All of whom are the children of Ukrainians.

My cousins have been slaughtering the Ukrainian language lately in their excitement to celebrate the coming of the Easter Bunny. I fucking hate when Ukrainian is transliterated. I hate it more when it’s transliterated and spelt incorrectly. If you’re going to use the language, use it.

Fuck, half the time, they don’t even know they’re actually speaking fucking Polish.

Not that there’s anything wrong with Polish, mind. My grandparents spoke both interchangeably, but at least I can tell the difference between the two.

OK. Rant over. I’m going to go watch a stupid horror movie and continue reading this amazing Scorbus fan fic. It actually makes the events of Cursed Child almost acceptable. Like if this chick had written CC? Oh, it would have been a beautiful addition to the canon instead of the trainwreck the actual CC was…

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