Friday, September 23, 2011
Ceremony takes you there
I have once again been thinking about ceremony - what it is, and what it does in our lives.
Ceremony follows a path.
You begin with the leaving of some place (Where were you before this point in your life? Who, and what, lead you here? What are you leaving behind? What are you taking with you?)
--- come to this very moment, the turning point (marrying, for instance), and embrace the change
--- go back out into the community around you with a new view (of where you are, who you are, where you are going and what those people around you mean to you.)
This is why there are so often ceremonial words like bridges, and roads, thresholds - images of running water, shifting sands, and the cycle of seasons. Metaphors give tangible form to the things in our lives that are not so easily identified. And yet we instantly recognize the emotions the symbols represent, when those images are ones that connect with us.
One of the bridges is the music that carries us through our lives. You might hear a song and instantly see and smell leaves falling from red and orange maples. Maybe you think of your mother, laughing with you at some ridiculous moment. Or you hear a distant waft of a flute, or a guitar, and feel the relaxed freedom of a long ago summer's day. It's like water, my metaphorical mind can't help but saying- it's a stream flowing through life, winding its way, carrying its bugs and twigs.
Anything stored in your senses can help accompany you, and ground you, in the moments when you are setting out into new territory. The ceremony becomes yours, tells your story. It marks for those around you, and most wonderfully - for you - the whole person you are.