Monday, May 2, 2011

{whole me} :: mourning meaning

As I sat, watching the wedding of Wills & Kate this past Friday, I was struck by something unexpected.

I've never been one for much pomp and circumstance...usually scoff at the idea of formality. I much enjoy ease and familiarity...even with strangers. I like the idea, and have often prided myself on the ability to make someone feel as thought they've known me forever. I do casual. I'm not a private person, and though I sometimes wish I had a demure disposition, I have been known to "get to the point"...and not dance around with suggestions. Truth be known, I can be somewhat of an ice-breaker.

So, imagine my surprise, when watching this event that is arguably the most formal, pompous, demure, and rehearsed event there is...I was deeply moved. Never have I been a royal-watcher, but ever since Diana's death, I always wonder about and root for her ears perking up to see how they are shaped and what their life will be. So, yeah...I was interested in the wedding. I wanted to see it. What a beautiful moment.

But, there was something else...something tugging in a deeper place....

it was longing.

Longing?! Happy as I am for Duchess Catherine or Princess William or Kate...whatever you want to call her...I don't envy her the life she leads. However, the poise and calm with which she conducted herself, the majesty of Westminster Abbey, the horses with their polished silver, the choir of boys and men that sang...the hats (some of them, ahem)..this all added up to something that I think we are desperate for, in our society...reverence and effort.

It seems to me there's a general disdain for reverence, in this country. Maybe it's because we started as a country, through the circumstance of trying to escape the trappings of a ritualistic society. However, I think somewhere deep inside...our spirits are mourning....well, meaning. I realize that I am longing for a sense of deeper meaning...and, I want my community to share in it with me.

While watching some BBC commentary, a British man was being interviewed by an American reporter. She asked him what he made of the fact that so many Americans were captivated by the wedding...and, this was something that struck me...she said, "even though most would be embarrassed to admit it." *Why? Why are we embarrassed?...we certainly aren't embarrassed by our entertainment export...JERSEY SHORE!!! (Well, I am...but, in general...)* His response really resonated with me, and some of the inner apathy that so many people, including myself, have been experiencing, lately. He said, "Well, there has to be a certain deadness of spirit, doesn't there, not to want anyone to know that you think this is a beautiful thing?"

Why, yes...cute Mr. British Man...there does. Thank you for identifying that for me.

Think about a general rule...we look sideways at enthusiasm. We look sideways at tradition. Don't be too happy...don't be too sad...don't be too Christian..don't be too tactful...don't be too kind...don't be too spiritual...don't be TOO excited...don't be TOO...don't be TOO! But, some things we are more than happy to celebrate TOO MUCH of. (Hello, celebrities with poor judgement!?)

Well...awesome. Where does that leave us? We don't want to put too much effort into anything. We don't want to treasure our pasts. We don't want to celebrate roots...we don't give a crap about heritage. We want to erase history in the name of progression, and we certainly don't want anyone to cling to the past...otherwise, you're backward thinking.

It's not that I don't appreciate progression. Things like civil rights, racial equality, communication...the ability to talk about things that desperately need talking about...the ability to question things that need questioning. However, I think in our classic, American "all or nothing" way of doing things...we've thrown the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.

We've progressed ourselves right into a shallow puddle of muck.

Respect, tact, reverence, decorum, dignity, rootedness...these are all casualties of "progression." I think it's time we start putting things under the right heading, you know? Like, maybe fighting against racism and sexism can be under PROGRESSION...and other things like sexual deviancy, hatefulness, and debauchery can stop being "forms of self-expression" and start being what they are...TRASHINESS.

I'm all about going against the flow of the machine...however, I dont' think that needs to be an excuse to conduct ourselves with absolutely no self integrity. Maybe we need to be reminded that not every single thought, every single moment of the day, deserves to be spouted out whenever we want to. How truly immature of us. Maybe...just maybe...we should be humble enough to realize that we don't have all the answers. Maybe...just maybe...we should grow the hell up.

I think it's safe to assume, that as we move through this new chapter...after last night's news...maybe we should take a different approach. Maybe the venomous spew that seems to be so rampant amongst people with differing political opinions...maybe we could honor human sacrifice with the end of that. Maybe we could take back our lives from corporate interest...and begin working on human know taking care of those who need it...loving one another. Being civilized in spirit. Whatever that looks like to me it looks like Jesus.

Maybe deadness of spirit isn't progress...maybe it isn't victory.

Maybe it's time that we lived...truly lived.

"The glory of God is man fully alive." - Saint Irenaeus


  1. Beautiful. I watched the *entire* wedding Friday and felt similar things as you. I don't particularly care about the royals, but it was good and happy news and that was a refreshing change from the trash that typically makes the headlines.

    I can't say it as eloquently as you, I just feel like we've given up on everything that is sacred, beautiful, traditional, holy, pure in exchange for freakin' Jersey Shore. We don't want pomposity....we want the low, the common and the base...perhaps to make ourselves feel better?

  2. I agree. So much. I think this is part of the reason I ended up in the Anglican Church...which has its share of problems...but the tradition, connection to Christians who have come before me, the beauty of the liturgy...none take the place of Christ or the Bible, but are built around them, point us to them...It's one step closer to the reverence, beauty and effort you mentioned, for me anyway.



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