Greg Zanis, a loss to humanity
Good argument for how religion is the opiate of the masses.
I just stumbled across documentary photography of the "Hill of Crosses" in Lithuania:
"There is no reliable information when and why the very first cross appeared here. According to one version, it happened shortly after the baptism of Lithuania in the 14th century. The hill could be a pagan shrine previously, so crosses were installed on it to symbolize the victory of the Christianity. According to another version, the tradition has its origins only in the middle of the 19th century, when the Lithuanians began to set crosses in memory of the fallen at the 1831 Uprising suppressed by the tsarist troops. At least, the first written mention about the Hill of Crosses is dated 1850. During the Soviet occupation of Lithuania the Communist authorities made at least four attempts to destroy the site. However, each time after the crosses were demolished by bulldozers, they reappeared again and again. Nobody has ever tried to count how many large and small crosses are actually installed on Jurgaičiai Hill. It's believed there are at least two hundred thousands crosses here. And every day dozens or even hundreds of new crosses are added by pilgrims from all over the world."
This photo, of lichen creeping across weathered crucifixes:
I hope Cross Man would approve.
Been sort of thinking about this since I read about this character yesterday. And 'character' was pretty much what I took away from my reading. And, of course, any appraisal of this guy from a 'normie' such as myself (?) would see that. But, I realized there was more to it than that, since while Matt has written about a lot of 'characters', there's usually more to the story than just 'entertainment for the normies', if one bothers to look. So, I took another look.
What I saw was, in essence, unbridled kindness, offered by a man someone such as myself would see as really, really strange. But so effin' what? Kindness is as kindness does, and it was unkind of me to discount what the Cross Man did because he was apparently as nutty as a loon by my so-called standards. And shame on me for that.
Whatever comfort he brought, and whoever he brought it to, no matter what my idea of 'rational' or 'appropriate' is, he lessened people's pain. A that's a much better standard to judge someone by than many of us too often use.
So, thanks for calling me out on that one, Matt. Even though you didn't realize that was what you were doing.
Or did you?
Quite an eloquent tribute to a complicated, lovable soul.
I dunno . . . Your reference to 'slipping out the back and went home' reminded me of the rapture. We would turn and look for them and they would be gone. Just because we can identify why they left doesn't make their absence any less jarring. They have been spared the tribulations while we grope for answers as to why we have our own version of a Mexican cartel allowing a slaughter for further profit.
I had a Zanis as a best friend growing up. He would make you blush with his commitment to you, God and his outward love for his friends. I do dearly miss him! We need Zamia’s in this world to break the unashamed barriers of love and commitment.
May God bless his resting soul along with my friend.
Love will conquer all❤️
Loved this piece,plus the original profile and of course, the perfect music choice. More of your quirky profiles are needed to remind all of us of the magic in humankind that goes undetected unless given oxygen and a place to live. How about at least one piece like this one each week and one less on the ugly, misogynistic and frightened cowards who get so much unneeded attention.
Fantastic story. “bluegrass, freshly cut, looking like two-toned velour.” Perfect, and even more so because you drop these gems in so effortlessly.
What a calling, to bear 20,000 crosses. As you said, literally. Great stories you wrote about him - a fine tribute.
I know you’re getting back into your zone; that sonofabitch Rich, really can sing AND I’d never heard his going home song. Perfect.
Matt another work of art. Thank you..
Matt, you regularly expand my musical (and spiritual) horizons.
Touching eulogy. Loved this story.
Matt, I am in awe of your writing. You have a gift for using words to create ideas, thoughts, images, emotions. You remind me of Noonan and Gay, both of the NYT. You're in great company, and I'm happy to have discovered you.
Amazing and inspiring profile. Thank you Matt for sharing it again.
Love your writing. Love your approach to very flawed people who try to follow Jesus. I’m such. Through and through. Appreciate you!
Good lord, that Charlie Rich song. (Early in the song, I would have sworn it was more than one man’s voice and one piano.) And, your writing was pretty good this time, too.
Thank you. I really needed to read that.