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Rolling the Stone Away: Easter & Science Fiction

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“God invites us to be co-creators, to help transform our world and bring about new life.”

–The Reverend Mary Luck Stanley

As a world, we are suffering in many ways: a plane crashed in France, killing more than a hundred people; war continues to rage in the Middle East; Ebola continues to take lives in Liberia; women across the globe are still treated as second-class citizens (and often much worse); our prisons continue to fill and fill with more people each day; people all over the world still face prejudice for their skin color, religion, sexual orientation, and any other differences one can find to hold against them—but these are not the entirety of our world. These do not have to define our world.

Nothing is fixed.

It’s the desire to celebrate this fact—Nothing is fixed; everything can change; everything can be reimagined—that always excites me about the Easter holiday. Easter speaks directly to the author and artist in me as a time to recognize the radical transformation that’s possible in all of us. As a professional writer, there are few things I find more inspiring or important than this: that the radical transformation of our world is possible, no matter how engrained or “natural” our current systems and oppressive forces may seem.

And it’s for this same reason that I’ve always been particularly drawn to science fiction as both a reader and writer. Science fiction is unique among all genres because it’s dedicated not to the imagining of different worlds and systems, but to the reimagining of our current ones. It’s a genre focused on remembering that the power of transformation and change rests with us of the here and now, that these dreams are real and that nothing is fixed. Homophobia? Prisons? Racism? Sexism? Nothing is fixed. We have the tools, ability, and imagination to see these evils ended.

And isn’t this Christ’s Easter example to us?—to radically transform the world through love. To reimagine our world as run by the rules of love.

As renowned science fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin said in her acceptance speech as Medalist for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters (2014 National Book Awards ceremony):

“Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of [people] who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need [people] who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality.”

The celebration, possibility, and truth of this “larger reality” is a major part of what Easter has come to mean for me—to remember that I live in a world where a man rose from the dead, where a man was willing to suffer anything to pursue a better world for us all, and that we also have this power to drive change and pursue worlds that don’t yet exist, worlds that others may call impossible. We have the ability to be Realists of a Larger Reality.

Perhaps Nerds of Color contributor Walidah Imarisha put it best:

“When we free our imaginations, we question everything. We recognize none of this is fixed, everything is stardust, and we have the strength to cast it however we will.” (emphasis added)

Nothing is fixed. The stone was rolled away from Christ’s tomb, and we have the power still to roll all the other stones away.

trees

–Katherine Mead-Brewer

*In Le Guin’s above quote, I changed the word “writers” to “people,” as indicated by the [brackets].


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