13 Grandmothers. 400 women. 4 Days of Prayer

S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#1
13 Grandmothers. 400 women. 4 Days of Prayer

We are a sight, we four hundred women walking in silent procession along this windy, bumpy dirt road. We have been encouraged to wear long dresses for the ceremony – as is traditional - and we do, pairing dusty boots with loose, flowing frocks – woven, embroidered, well-worn and well-loved, tinged with whiffs of sage and Copal and Paolo Santo, for we are no strangers to ceremony, we who comprise this silent, solemn parade towards the sacred well, a half-mile away.

“Think about why you came here,” Grandmother Mona instructed us in the meadow, where we gathered early this morning before starting our pilgrimage. “Why you were called here. Why it meant so much that you left your homes and your families to travel so many miles to be with us…here…now...”
I turn my head towards a rustling to my right. A woman wearing a gauze skirt and lots of chunky silver rings crouches upon a rock partially hidden behind the thick, dry brush. She dips her hands into the creek, bows her head and whispers into them, and then rubs the water into her temples and her hairline. My heart smiles; my mouth follows.

Sister, I think, grateful to be here, in a high desert mountain forest, among the witches and the water whisperers.
It’s that awkward moment when you finish your food blessing before the woman you’re sitting with finishes hers.

Is she blessing every single ingredient? I wonder, eyeing my food, noting the rumble in my belly, checking to see if Katie’s opened her eyes yet, if she’s relaxed the outstretched palms that continue to hover over her quinoa, even though it’s been, like, at least a whole minute. Is she fucking with me?

I find food blessing etiquette to be utterly confounding even though I’m one of those woo-woo weirdos who does them.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#2
Interesting piece. I don't know about chemotherapy being "unholy" yet necessary though - seems like an arbitrary thing to condemn?

At the same time, the woman who used the descriptive term "unholy" was talking about subjective experience, not giving a moral sermon.
 
Top