Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Gnostic Sunday

The Gnostic celebration was a first and probably the only Hyampom experience of its kind. James read a very well written ie. brilliant explanation of Gnosticism and then Rosamund talked about how mistaking myth for history was missing the point of the Jesus story. She went into some detail and explication of the her understanding of the Gnostic gospels. A very powerful persona, striking presence and the talk was what we all know well said and sprinkled with anecdotes. She had been arrested as a teenager in Cuba(her father was a diplomat) and repeated raped and tortured. Her breakthrough moment was hearing one of her torturers speaking with love and affection about his daughter. She realized he was capable of love. She carries that truth in her being.

They had set up the ceremonial grounds in the big grove beside the red house, with the huge oak and giant boulders making the perfect setting, sunlight filtering through the trees, moss glowing. Her boyfriend/husband/partner was there along with two Egyptian cats they kept in cages because they were scared they would freak out if let loose. Katharine had told them about the mountain lion paws on window sill looking in the window at her.

After the talk which included her understanding of the Mary Magdalene myth--again it isn't about history, its about awareness, the ritual ceremony began. Communion and singing and chanting and some tape playing by the husband and drumming. We almost all took communion. Tom Trueblood was there with Jan Wethers--that was the big surprise for me. The town cynic taking communion and Jan was sooo into it, meditating and in tears at times. Thomas did not know them and had not invited them, but was glad they were there. The day was beautiful and although the recitation was a little weak as no one had seen or said any of the lines before, the whole ceremony went off well, although I must confess to being slightly uncomfortable with the ritual parts--vipassana is so free from any add ons and up until the singing chanting I could have been at a dharma talk. But then I felt like I was indulging in some new ageiness, but of course that is not true and speaks more of the filters of my mind than of her service which is supposedly ancient. The fact that this ceremony was going to happen only once also affected me. I haven't taken communion since hhhmmmmmm maybe a teenager, and I was struck by the blood and body metaphor which seemed more real to me. This part of the service was my favorite when I was young and I always felt refreshed and made new after communion. But this time I got a sense of sacrifice and the reality of blood and body and cannilbalism which surprised me and I struggled with it a little, but couldn't deny it. Finally I mentioned to Teddy that I was put off by Christianity's bloodiness--which he dismissed because after all he is Jewish and has overcome his distaste for it so why should not i? Teddy is a trip. One of his paintings hung on the side of the red house and looked fabulous there. Mykayla and Dylan were the youngest partakers.

Then there was the potluck. Uschi had made delicious blackberry pies and Susan Bower had brought asparagus from her garden, and there was wine and all the taste delights we love. Richard had brought a half gallon of tequila and margarita mix and was soon imbibing and talking loudly. Heard him telling Rosamund that he didn't like ritual, but was into selfless service. I grinned at Katharine and said, "I'm in for the pelton wheel fix" and we laughed, and since others heard us, i added that RK is one of the most generous and talented people around and has fixed things for me more times than I can count. Which is true as he was just up here and fixed the pelton wheel and also made the soup, which I had cooked, taste better and he did seem to really love the Newman's oreos which i bought him as we did an online crossword puzzle together after supper and he was a big help there also. David (Rosamund's partner) said he had been to the river and how powerful it was. He hopes to come back. He loved the drive on windy roads.

Later in the day we drove into Tony's housewarming--the third of the mill camp by Steve Vincent's. He had a great sign up "New Owner, drop in" which I thought was very Hyampom. Small crowd there and many of the same people. I walked around the two houses he is gutting and going to fix up, remembering going there before the Christmas play to talk to Tree's mother about his behavior. The house reeked of pot, which was fine with me, but Jane would not believe Tree had misbehaved, and I was an unwelcome authority figure, and they were all drunk and stoned. I wanted to tell Tony to smudge the houses well, but didn't think it was the time to do that and maybe he has already done it. The kids, Dash and Zoe, Ronan and Zander and Rene were running around, going down to the river with the freedom that only Hyampom kids have. There was some discussion by the parents about whether they would be careful near the river. "It's too cold to go in" was the reply " Are you crazy?", the teenagers said. Well use good judgement Una said to Ronan and off they ran. I was glad to see Tim and Una who I hadn't seen since Tim's mother died and I managed to get Meraid to relate to me by taking her hat and putting it on my head and exhanging a cracker for it. She was suddenly friendly. Just Anya's age.

It was a good day and a new day--the place is changing in fits and starts and I'm grateful to witness the permutations of the mountain village where I live.

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