We are like a branch grafted onto the wrong tree, an organ transplanted into another body. We’re aliens in our own homes. But we cannot go back where we came from; we’d be aliens there, too. There is nowhere in the world that we really belong. Those of us of European descent who don’t live [...]
Theologians and scientists agree: ritual is good for the human soul. But I don’t like ritual much. It’s probably my Zen upbringing. If ritual is poetry in the realm of acts, then perhaps my poetic-action aesthetic is too used to the haiku or koan: short, unrehearsed, improvised, intentionally subversive. But one thing I do like about ritual is the creation of a sacred space. Rituals tend to start by casting a circle or otherwise setting a boundary in space around the participants — or else they take place within a sacred space that has already been established (like a stone circle or a cathedral). Within that boundary, the normal world and normal time is suspended, set aside; and the cosmos is re-created in miniature, resized to fit the human imagination.