Friday, October 19, 2007

Rites and Ritual

We're about to saddle up for the long ride to Lexington this morning, so I don't have a lot of time to write.

Jodie came over early and we were all a tiny bit quiet for a change. We're heading to The Kentucky Horse Park for John Henry's memorial service. I wasn't sure what the others were thinking as we ate breakfast together, but I was thinking about rituals and rites and how when you step outside mainstream society, or are forced outside, those things tend to fall away from you.

As I was remembering what it felt like at the orphanage when the nuns would march us over to church for Mass, Starr Ann said, "Ever think about how we built all our own traditions from the ground up, Margo?"

I said, "You mean like how we decorate a healthy tree outside for Christmas?"

"Yeah, kinda."

After a few minutes, Jodie said, "I, for one, feel like I've been observing your eco-sabbath all my life, and it has only been, my goddess, is it only three months since we met?" Jodie reached over and covered Starr Ann's hand for a second.

I warned you we were oddly subdued and sentimental this morning.

Even Celia Susan didn't mention one politician, or the war, or torture. Well, she did mumble something at one point about how we need to change The War on Terror to The War on Torture, but still.

Anyway, today four lesbian cowgirls who rarely have time or attention to spare for pop culture, organized religion, or most other people, will stand amongst a crowd of people, probably mostly straight, probably at least a few homophobes, Republicans and Humvee drivers. Okay, maybe Humvee drivers takes it a little too far. But my point is, we'll be standing there with all those people, united in the deep reverence we all feel at the passing of a fellow creature. Side by side, we'll likely all share the same emotions as we watch the tribute to John Henry's strong soul, cry together as we watch replays of his stirring victories, and spend a holy moment together as we say a final goodbye.

Rites and ritual. Maybe we should think again about shedding too many of those. They may serve a purpose after all.

And speaking of which - tomorrow we celebrate the miraculous occasion of the birth of Starr Ann!

We are forever moved from sorrow to joy, and back again. Might as well learn to appreciate both with equal attentiveness.