Archive for April 29th, 2011
When I came home yesterday afternoon from teaching at the university, I noticed a lot of activity at the entrance to my housing compound. I immediately rushed up to the apartment in order to get my camera as I knew it was an event that was about religious rites following death. I was woken about 4:00 am with the sounds of evenly paced fireworks explosions, sounds that I have come to associate with a death in the neighbourhood. The neighbourhood is a place for the wealthy and many of these wealthy people are old. Death and funerals are frequent occurrences. The difference this time was striking as I kept busy with the camera – the white arm and headbands were missing. The event was quieter and when there was sound, it was more musical than noise.
Death, the ending of all earthly relationships, the final separation of self from other as we know it. As James Hollis puts it:
“All relationships begin, and end, in separation.”
But, I wonder. Does death which ends our connections with other humans mean the end of separation? Fire is symbolic of renaissance for rebirth. The transformation for isolated individual into a state of union with the source from which human life emerged, a pre-conception starting point is an idea that haunts me, that makes me wonder. Something to think about.