But what has become of all the keepers of sacred song? Their voices have in so many places been replaced by the chiming clock. How many homes are managed these days by the rhythms of soul-need and body-health? Not so many that I know. Most submit themselves to the rule of commerce. I think of teenagers being forced to school at an hour their brain can not function, small children eating dinner too late for comfortable sleep, women with confused menstruation, men whose pulse ticks rather than sings. And within this all there lies a silence which, from the earliest days, was filled by prayer to the Mother. Houses were the first temples. Now they are places to hold our things.
If you read Suburban Magic,* you know I believe the a home is a sacred space of memory and dream. It seems dangerous to me that we now merely live in them. Without song ... without honour for the spirits of the trees and stone in the walls surrounding us, making for us a cave no matter how elegantly built ... without true shelter from more than just wind and rain ... our souls are essentially homeless.
In response to my post yesterday, nofixedstars mentioned Hestia. I wish I could write now all my thoughts in response, but this is a blogpost not an essay - otherwise, I would go on and on! To me, there is no more sacred duty than the keeping of the hearth. With fire, we have been gifted a bit of the sun, a bit of god, and tending to it is like tending to the god himself, giving him shelter, space, honour, in our homes, in return for his blessing of energy.
How anyone can suppose the woman who attends to this duty is performing some lesser task? It may not be paid in the currency of the modern world, but it is transacting the most beautiful relationship of all - the romance and trust and poetry between we who are the earth and our lover who is the sky.
* all back issues still available
I feel a little fragile about this new template, because softness and femininity are seldom taken seriously ... but I am trying to be brave. At least I want to show that a woman can love flowers and calm colours, lace and gentleness, and still know where the bodies are buried (under the floorboards) and how to go out barefoot, smoked, silent, to find old stories in the storm.