I love calendars and maps and greatly value rituals. I create them for all kinds of events: the start of a business, the moving into a house, marriages for sure, a year of this, a month of that, the death of a pet, a birth, a divorce, the dog gets a bath, my friend gets a haircut. Life is for celebrating and memorializing. The end of a crummy year, the start of a better one! I also like a ritual for clearing of energy in a space that has been seeped in negativity. It works. Burning candles, incense, saying little prayers, (I’ll sometimes dance if no one is spying on me), music for sure and sometimes I boink on a little drum someone gave me because it’s fun and feels right.
I’ll clearly be one of those crazy old ladies who has 16 cats, living alone eating soup for dinner, and drinking sherry at dusk while I walk my grounds, talking to the flowers I’ve planted like they’re my children. The kind of old bat that intrigues the neighborhood kids who wheel their bikes silently up my drive, with overgrown catawba vines shading their way, to take a peek at what that nutty, red headed old bag might be up to! Nice image!
Back to rituals…I make up things to do, take things from old traditions, American Indian traditions being my favorite, (though the Nordic folks have some interesting rituals related to the sea that I relish). I’ll read about curious ceremonies from dusty books found in back corners of used book stores. It’s all in the intent I suppose.
I attended my friends memorial service today, a beautiful ritual it was. So many people came to celebrate her life, her presence in theirs. We all cried and laughed at the many lovely stories that were shared. She was fun, funny, inventive, nutty as a fruitcake in some ways and smart as a whale (they’re smart) and pretty much a spontaneous free spirit. She could do so many things. We met at a dance class many, many years ago….modern dance, with all that Martha Graham falling across the floor stuff going on. We’d laugh and laugh at how inept we were compared to the REAL dancers. She was so much fun.
There were hundreds of people in attendance as she was adored by many and touched so many hearts. She was affectionate, kind and passionate, about all manner of things. Though this friend was often in and out in my life, in terms of hanging out together, we were certainly in one another’s hearts as friends, very dear friends, spoke frequently and emailed more. Her hugs would last that extra moment that always made you feel special and adored and she could whip up the best minestrone soup I’ve ever tasted. She was messy which drove me nuts and I’d always straighten up her house when she wasn’t looking…..she could care less, and I loved that about her. She was so un-neurotic. (Take it from an obsessive neurotic who craves structure yet runs from it). Go figure. (A part of this new year’s resolution).
Her memorial was as unconventional as she was. We all held little candles in a tiny church which she loved and some musician pals played some great music. She was a beautiful, beautiful person to me. We openly expressed our gratitude and affection for one another, we’re just that way….and I loved that about her. She showed me in many ways how to be a friend, a true friend and to not hold back how I felt, whether I was upset or just wanted to tell her how much I loved her as my friend. I value that, (though it’s often gotten me in trouble with folks who aren’t used to such open expression). That’s okay. It’s all about the intent. We weathered a few storms together, some ups and downs, which only strengthened our bond. I loved her dearly.
She was clearly a ‘rocking chair pal’, full of truth, (and would tell it to you…), beauty, a grace that inspired and uplifted me. I am so grateful for her presence in my life, (and for teaching me to juggle fire and walk on my hands), and for always being an example of integrity and most of all, for always being my champion, cheerleader and trusted allie!
Love to you Josie…I’ll always be with you and always be here should you need me. Always.