Favorite Rituals (and Nothing Gets Slaughtered)

Sacred: “means revered due to association with (with something) considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion; or inspiring are or reverence”

I believe that all rituals, religious or otherwise, are sacred. Rituals connect us to a deeper current within humanity, something we are all connected to, and I think that current is God, or part of God. So I love rituals, though I don’t often focus or think about their place in my life. Therefore, I’m glad to think about them in this (albeit late) response to a daily prompt.

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Since marriage…

It’s almost two months that I’ve been married, and last night I did a memory book of the detritus I had collected during wedding trip in Disney World. (Yeah – I’m a Disney bride.) Now I’ve got my Sherlock pipe and I’m ruminating on things that are different now.

One big change since I got married is that people respond to me differently. When I called him my “boyfriend” or “fiance,” they responded less seriously to it than when I talk about my “husband.”

For example: “I need to talk to my boyfriend/fiancé” about a decision means they’ll keep talking to me about it. When I say, “I need to talk to my husband” about the same decision, they shut up. Like they respect the role of “wife” more than “fiancée” or “girlfriend.”

Anther difference, and I’m sure this is normal, is that I’m thinking longer term.  Will we buy land? What kind of house will we build?  Where? Can we raise a family there? The cool thing is, I’m thinking about this stuff, and I’m not freaking out. I’m a bit of a commitment-phobe, so this is a big deal.

I know yet even more what I want: I want to build a tiny house. I want to write more, a book. I want to live more in faith.  I want to act in the Renaissance Faire. I WANT to do these things, even though I may miss on something better that comes along. For so long in my life I’ve been drifting around hoping to catch the Better Thing that people stumble onto, but now I don’t think that’s real. I don’t think Something Better will come along. Maybe it’s all Better. It’s just a choice.

Moreover, I’m not afraid to try things because I know my husband is behind me, is with me. Which brings me to my last point: I’m not alone anymore. I was so alone before him, and I didn’t even know it. What a wonderful discovery, and even better that I can make it with my Cohiba.

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Neither of us are alone anymore.

Update: I also second everything my Texan sister said. (Except for the surgery on the honeymoon part – that sucks.) How funny that we posted this on the same day!

It’s on like Donkey Kong?

At the end of March, President Obama made April 2014 National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

Sexual assault: Unwanted sexual contact that stops short of rape or attempted rape. This includes sexual touching and fondling.

I’ve survived this. I’ve never said it in this way before, but I have survived this. Twice.

Those times weren’t traumatic. They weren’t violent. I knew both the guys. (Many survivors know their assailant!) I didn’t like it and I felt icky afterward; I still feel icky to think about it. Despite this, I never thought of it as sexual assault. I’ve always thought: You know, we were both drinking the first time, and he said he was really ashamed about it afterward. And the second time, well, I was “sewing my oats” that summer and that was just part of it. You got burned. I never considered it assault.

But it was.

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The Forest is my Imagination

Sometimes, at the beginning of a week, I find that my attention and thoughts are focused in a beautiful place, like a forest of trees. Living in that forest is normal, and possibilities are paths through them.

In this forest, you don’t have to walk the paths, and if you choose to, you don’t do it for any purpose.  You do it because you want to walk the path. The passage and exploration are more important than the journey’s end.

And, oh, how I hate pulling myself out of this forest.

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Nothing wrong with a little contemplation

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Is there anything like a funeral to put you in a contemplative mood? We buried my grandmother yesterday, and it’s kind of been a little hard for the past few days as we held the wake and the funeral.

Grandma had a complicated relationship with all three of her daughters and then, by extension, me. She could be a bitch on wheels and she drank way too much, which is probably why she could be so loose and cruel with her tongue. Then I remember my last phone call with her and how sweet it was. So that makes me think about love and different ways of showing it.

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I read a line from a fellow blogger’s post today, something written in response to the Daily Prompt. It was a short poem, but the last line of it really captured me:

“A day like no other begins like all others.”

This makes me think of all the special days in my life, how they all began the same way. Then, the day that is so rapidly approaching, the day for which I am so excited, my wedding day, will begin like all the others.

I am so excited for the wedding that I don’t feel like I can stand it. I was never one of those girls who dreamt about their weddings and had it all planned out, and in fact, we chose to have a destination wedding to make it easier to plan. Now I’m noticing that, as the time draws nearer, decisions I have been thinking about for months are being made. For example, all the RSVPs were due yesterday, and now we’ll have a better idea of who is coming to our destination wedding. Now, we can get to work getting them discounted rooms.

Which is all very good.

So I think about my wedding day and the days surrounding it, which will begin like all others, and I will be with my best friends and family in Disney World, a place where I’ve had so much fun playing with Cohiba, and finally marrying my Cohiba. Everyone of those days, as unique and pregnant with possibility as they are, will begin just like any other.

To Hear The Poem of Creation

Remember the first time I traveled solo.

And I mean solo, really solo.  I had taken a trip to San Francisco by-myself-but-with-others with Team in Training to do the Nike Women’s Marathon, and that was pretty cool. I went with other people to appease worried family members. But, in the spring of ’08, before I started my Master’s that fall, I wanted to go abroad. The problem was, nobody wanted to go with me.  Rather, they did, but they didn’t have the money or the vacation time to do it, and they didn’t really have an interest in seeing what I wanted to see.

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Who still has their bee-bee?

“If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom.”  These are the words of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

This quote was offered to incite thought about security versus freedom, thanks to a more existential prompt source, (sorry I’m late with this, by the by.  I was sick) and I’ve been thinking about it this week.

A client came to mind: A white man in his 60’s, he’s just out of prison.  He said that when he got out, they put him in a cab with $5 and sent him downtown. And that was it.  He doesn’t know where to go or what to do, so he came to my center. He said that, in prison, his needs were met, he was in a structured environment and he had a pretty good life.  He seems to feel overwhelmed: he doesn’t know what to do or how to do it. He doesn’t have any kind of structure and boundaries imposed on him and he’s lost touch with the ability to limit himself.

I think this is telling. Freedom is scary.

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