As I might have mentioned before in my posts, I am Greek. Today is Easter Saturday for the Greek (and generally, Eastern) Orthodox Church, which includes the Easter Vigil, the most important service of the year, and an event every Greek, and I mean everyone irrespective of religiousness, strength of faith, or even religion sometimes, attends. This is often hard to explain to non-Orthodox people, but attending mass for Easter, is not a religious event in our culture; it is more of a social event. Even if you have no interest in the spiritual side of things and you could not care less for celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, you still go to church for at least an hour or so, because it is the thing to do, and it kicks off the festivities for Easter Sunday. And trust me when I say, you definitely want to kick off the festivities for Easter Sunday.
|Small Easter feast.|
Except, I am sitting at home writing this post instead of going to church, as every other Greek person would do. The truth is, I don't know any Greeks in Seattle and, as I have just explained, this is supposed to be a social event (at least for me). There doesn't seem to be a point in making the effort when there is no prospect of social interaction, is there?
I am therefore skipping the visit to the beautiful Greek Orthodox church of Saint Demetrios in Seattle. It's moments like these, on traditional holidays steeped with family memories, that the distance from family and friends weighs one down the most. What is a man supposed to do when he finds himself alone on Easter Sunday (with every single one of his alternative plans having fallen through, no less)?
Why, turn to the wisdom of Mr Miyagi of course! Here it is, from the sequel to Karate Kid, the sequel to my original post of Mr Miyagi's wise words. Enjoy:
"For person with no forgiveness in heart, living even worse punishment than death."
"When you feel life out of focus, always return to basic of life: breathing. No breath, no life."
"This [points to heart] say you brave, this [points to medal] say you lucky."
"Daniel-san, never put passion before principal. Even if win, you lose."
"Daniel-san, nobody perfect."
"This rules to karate. Rule number 1: Karate for defense only. Rule number 2: First, learn rule number 1."
"Sometime what heart know, head forget."
"Never stop war by taking part in one."
"Best way to avoid punch, no be there."
"Lie become truth only if person want to believe it."
Not surprisingly, Mr Miyagi has words to comfort any soul, even some pertaining to my current mood. And, watching Karate Kid II, it is easy to see where Mr Miyagi gets his propensity for wise one-liners. When Miyagi's father, now near death, sees his son for the first time in more than 50 years, he has this gem to offer:
"If I am dreaming, let me never awake. If I am awake, let me never sleep."
Not only that, but it is clear that the Miyagi family wisdom is rubbing off on Daniel-san as well. As Mr Miyagi is despairing over the death of his father, guilt-ridden over his long absence and his inability to change the fate of his village and his loved ones, Daniel-san succeeds in comforting him with this little speech:
"When my father died, I spent a lot of time thinking I wasn't such a great son. Like maybe I could have listened a little more, spent some more time with him, together. I felt so guilty, like he did everything for me, and I didn't do anything for him. Then one day I realized, I did the greatest thing for him before he died. I was there with him, and I held his hand, and I said goodbye."
Karate Kid II is a decent film; unfortunately not as strong as the first one because of a weaker script and slower pacing, but with better character development, and with deep narratives about the meaning of family and tradition. Overall, a good choice for a night like this one.
Stay tuned for the next installment!