Do It Yourself

A few years back I realized the problem with having no religion is that I don't have rituals. I needed my own Day of the Dead. Jarhzeit candles. Post the names and losses on the back of the church bulletin. Bow my head over some sort of altar. Some formal grieving.

The point of that realization is that I had to make one, do something, or I'd never shake off the autumnal blues. Once I figured that out, well, it was almost as good as actually having the ritual.

But I've never actually gotten around to evolving a ceremony. Bake a cake and each bite is a goodbye to something? Stand in front of a mirror and read aloud? I get the point of group rituals. The more people taking part, the less you feel like a silly person (though I must say the instances of grace I've felt were when I was alone).

I think going into a field and looking at dead grass is the best I'll manage. Not bad, but not particularly lovely -- unless you count the field itself. That's pretty good. My religion isn't going to be the source of great art or even consolation. And because it's just me, not even my family, you can forget the sense of a community, which is a real and serious downside. On the other hand, you don't have to wear pantyhose to take part.


  1. You can always do a burning bowl ceremony. Write down on pieces of paper the things you want to be done with/let go. Burn them in a fireproof bowl or firepit or whatever you have. As you watch them burn, release. Also good for autumn, celebrate whatever you've "harvested" this year.

  2. yeah. that works and I'm doing it. thank you.


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