The Town Scryer is a mixed bag of humor, socio-political observations and ephemera from the perspective of a eclectic Pagan veteran of the counter-culture.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Handful of Dust

     Over the weekend I attended the memorial celebration of the life of a friend who was recently taken from me by cancer. Jamie was Asatru, but there was no hint of it that I saw on the table among the assembled mementos of his life. Perhaps I missed it though, I didn't examine too closely. There was brief, almost apologetic mention that he followed a different path than most. I do not fault anyone for this. There were family and strangers there and those of us who knew him and shared Circle with him didn't know how many of his family he was out to.
      Better to be safe.

    I have officiated at perhaps a half-dozen handfastings and weddings and a naming ceremony for a baby over the years. The first question I always ask is "Do I need to hide the Pagan elements of the ritual or are you out to your family?" Then follows weeks, and sometime months of work crafting a meaningful ceremony filled with wonder and magic...that won't freak out the relatives. If the folks are Roman Catholic or Episcopal it really isn't that hard. They're used to to high ritual and the symbolism seems to resonate with them on some deeper level. They're not quite sure what the words all mean but they recognize the forms and the Presence in the sacred space.

    I hope to never have to preside over funerary rites, but I know I may be asked to one day.

    One would think a person could finally be their true self in death, but I have found that it is rarely so. Funerals are really a comfort for the living. The ancient rite of passage to aid the departed on his journey is long forgotten. Maybe that is as it ought to be. The dead usually have no need of our aid and the living surely do. Still, it is good to remember that this too is a journey and a becoming as much as any other sacrament...a rite of passage.

     Be seeing you.

    "...on that Great Day when all the days and years are numbered, oh let my name be given back to me."

     The Book of the Dead as quoted by Roger Zelazny in "This Immortal"
      I am not sure if it is a proper quote, but I like it.

     on"...on that  that Great Day on that Great Day when all the days and years are numbered, oh let my name be given back to me,wheon that Great Day when all the days and years are numbered, oh let my name be given back to me,n all the days and years are numbered, oh let my name be given back to me,

1 comment:

  1. It's a good quote. We run into the same thing when dealing with orientation. A friend was inadvertently outed to his family as he lay near death in a hospital room and visited only by his partner of ten years. The partner has been out since before he was legal, and the truth slipped as out as he made necessary arrangements and errands that the relatives could not understand. My friend survived the illness, but the rejection has been brutal. My own sister freaks when reminded of my 'other path'. I've stopped hoping she would understand or relate to it in some way; nowadays I accept another patch of silence in place of the fear and repugnance in her face when the subject of things beyond the deadly dull mundane come up.

    It's too bad, but it's a fact of our lives, one I try to educate people about when I can. May you always have a clear path when crossing that minefield, Phil.