My professor's definition of ritual: "a means of paying attention. physical acts that direct our attention to an idea, value, or concern. most need to be public to be meaningful."
I like it. And rituals. I like the small ones. E.g. putting on makeup (best of all: stage makeup), even though I don't generally wear any. Or braiding hair, or mixing ingredients for a recipe, or the way I clean my room, or preparing a letter to mail. To paraphrase my friend, if I didn't know that smoking is terrible for you (and if I could afford it, and tolerate the smell...), I'd be a smoker just out of enjoyment of the ritual of it.
What I kept thinking when I sat on the dock in Wisconsin in the stillness, watching across the lake:
and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters
"You think you live for a long time, cats can live until they are twenty-five. My cat died when she was eighteen. I miss her. She was all black; name was Merlin."
– a stranger, inexplicably addressing me
A few things before I forget:
• I put up the wrong version of Sui's portrait in this post...fixed now.