“He moves slowly”, the man said, smiling as my pooches nose brushed the ground. I said something like “she moves like a snail”, then he said feeling guilty blowing blue smoke rising from his mouth , “it’s a bad habit”, staring cross eyed at his lit Cohiba cigar .
“What’s a bad habit?”, I said, observing his pleasures with my hound and his smoke.
“This”, he barked, holding up the thick cigar in the cool night air.
My response was slow. “It’s not that bad”, I said, “in fact it’s a ritual thousands of years old”.
Rituals are sacred space. Some rituals are more weighted than others. This observing man caught me while I was walking my dog in our three times a day ritual, which compared to praying numerous times each day may seem a triviality.
Cultures throughout history have used smoke in ceremonies, and our Original People in the Western Hemisphere believed tobacco was sacred visible prayer. Yes VISIBLE PRAYER.
Statistics back up the fact that the use of tobacco and other smokable substances are predominately a male ritual behavior. It is that way in every society. In a world that is trying to have equality between the sexes, some rituals lean toward one gender over the other. You wouldn’t want women to not be able to cosmetically negotiate Hair in hairy places, a ritual hardly discussed or contemplated by most men.
A Water Ritual, an eating ritual after offering prayer, all prayer forms are rituals, the toasting of someone or some event, all wonderful new borns birthing rituals, pre birthing rituals, marriage rituals, bathing and toilet rituals, and of course the ritual cup of Coffee or Tea are accepted rituals.
Not drinking alcohol in a ritual when offered is a signal to some that you cannot be trusted, and some find a drink a good reason not to trust people who enjoy that ritual . Rituals differ from one person to another, one clique to another, covering macro and micro, and to not acknowledge how we need our rituals is a denial we must face.
Celebrating sometimes, honoring, dishonoring, even wishes are rituals. The future is alive and well with the rituals of exercise eating well and all the healthy stuff you add to your ritual shake before you leave home.
“To each his or her own, so goes the saying”. We do have a Congress and a political system steeped in pseudo ritual, filled with Congressmen and Congresswomen who are addicted to the money raising rituals, the endless fundraising rituals.
Celebrating the New Year is a favorite ritual to many around the world, and we say three cheers to the New Year to one and all and if it is peace you want than make it a ritual in your own life.