First of all, I must say thankyou so much to (sooo not) Fat, Frumpy and Fifty for the Soulful Blogger award - you are a treasure and this time I am doing 'short and sweet', no Kate Winslet gushing, although I love her dearly - Thank you, FFF, bless you!
Oops, I pressed 'publish' there, I am still not very au fait with the technical stuff here - Is there a Noddy Guide or manual somewhere?
Anyhoo, back to the Edit function... Random thoughts came to me while lying in bed last night following THE ORDEAL... while I was recovering and eventually getting a grip on myself... And the hook for me was three words, Little Altars Everywhere. Here, I am quoting the title of a novel by Rebecca Wells, also author of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, which concerns the beauty and wonder of family relationships, communication and links over time...
For more information on Rebecca's writing please see http://ya-ya.com/about/index
In essence though what I am getting at, and I will get to a point at some point today - hopefully - is that where and how we 'worship', or spend time, or choose not to, is a matter for our own consciences.
For some that takes a secular form while for others it does not...
Some folk believe in the strength of angels, even earth angels, like these ones while others, mainly pagans, still have a belief in the Green Man, whose face even creeps into ancient churches! Still others choose alternative ways or icons to worship!
Some mark a person's life by a roadside shrine as with this one on Corfu, where I first came to understand the powerful pull of 'relative' emotion, (okay, I was pregnant with Grizzler and didn't know it yet, or else I would never have climbed on that motorbike with Gibberjonathan, to escape to the hills, honestly! (The heady smell of Bougainvillae can still make me feel as if I shall scweam and scweam until I am sick!)
It appears to me that when we have the means to pay tribute to others, to thank them for what they do, to remember someone and to show how much you love, loved or admire them, then we need to take those opportunities - However they come - To celebrate the lives we have...
As in these birthday tributes to Elvis
and in these other tributes or memory stores
Whenever I am fortunate enough to be travelling in Europe, I always find time to slip into a church or other space somewhere, to spend some time thinking about loved ones and to light a candle.
I was not born into these faiths, nor do I now consider myself a religious person, and yet the pull of some form of spiritual altar is a powerful one, and my agnostic family tolerates my foibles, in oh so many ways!
I am drawn to the idea of home altars, which cut across many religions, faiths and belief systems, and if I may take the liberty of quoting: "Altars nourish the longings of your heart. Even if you have only a few minutes, you can go to them to pray, or to meditate and to reaffirm your intentions. Altars turn your rooms into sacred spaces and remind you to keep your heart open and your spiritual lines of communication well tuned."
Robin and Michael Mastro Altars of Power and Grace, Balanced Books 2003, p. 39
"...an altar represents a place where you pay homage and respect to what feels holy and divine to you. An altar is simply a reflection of what you hold sacred. Whatever you revere and love, put it in front of you, and that love begets more love. Put altars all around your living and working space. Whether large or small, grand or simple, it does not matter. Simply create spaces that encourage thoughts of divinity and love. That simple act ensures that your space, your home and your life become more divine. Every house a temple, every heart an altar, every human being a divine prophet.”
"Altars can be simple, rustic, portable, ornate, bejewelled, large, small, public or private. There are no rules. The only thing to remember is an altar is simply a reflection of what you love and hold sacred. Frequently, an altar is created from a table, bench, shelf or box. An altar often holds pictures of spiritual leaders and teachers, candles, flowers, incense, statues, fabrics, prayer beads or rosaries, crystals, gemstones, feathers, bowls of water, bells and chimes. Anything you hold precious and honor as divine is an appropriate item to put on your altar. Simply gather a few beloved or inspiring items and place them together so their combined energy makes you feel happy. If this space inspires a thought of joy or love, it has done its job and an altar has begun. May it bring more joy and love to your daily life".
I did say I would get to my point, didn't I? Well, you know I can ramble, honestly, sometimes it's like "Gullible's Travels" around here...
Anyway, I have come to the conclusion that no matter how many blogs I read, and my list grows ever longer as you can see from the sidebar to the right; (So many fabulous blogs, so little time!)
There are some weird, wacky, wonderful and enchanting people out there with so much to say and give... I am drawn to the conclusion, that our blogs are effectually our 'home altars'.
Upon them we pour out our lives, memories, hearts and souls. ~ And we visit, to pay homage, to spend some time, to lurk, to de-lurk, to think and to laugh, to comment and occasionally to weep...because life's like that. C'est la vie, c'est la guerre!
We post pictures of us, our sons and daughters, our out-laws, our furry (and not so furry-) families, in other words, our favourite things... Sometimes we will draw near and see reflections of ourselves in the firelight, or in the mantleshelf mirror over the fireplace, because fireplaces can be altars for our love of the home, too...
Sometimes someone has got there before us with the hairspray, and you can't see your image reflected back in the hazy glass, and yet you will still think about what the writer has said, and that thought will give you thought...
So you see, little altars everywhere!