I am quite the fan of rituals. I think any artist is, of course, but there is something to the Writer, in particular, the raised-Catholic Writer, that longs for ritual, craves it, desires it at every turn.
I was raised Catholic, New Orleans Catholic, to be precise, which is as much a religion as it is a way of life. I went to an all-girls’ Catholic high school, taught some years later at said school, and even now, at 37, couldn’t shake my upbringing even if I tried–and I have tried, a few meager attempts, but the Catholic Guilt was too much for me. Besides, when you’re ingrained Catholic, you can’t let go of the incense and magic beads, as my husband says, every Christmas midnight mass: “Where are the wizards with the incense and magic beads?”
Those very wizards–priests–with their incense–incense–and magic beads–rosaries–instilled in me a longing for the ritualistic. I adore rituals, as much as I adore organization. They are the same to me, you see, moments and objects neatly packed away for necessaries.
I say this because I am making my recent Letter Writing Project to become A Woman Of Letters quite ritualistic indeed.
I have purchased arcane items that are only useful for their intended purpose: a wooden letter sorter (gorgeous grey!), letterhead (so cute and retro!), special envelopes (<3 them), cards (so many varieties), a box to hold received mail (super cute blue stripes), Harry Potter stamps (v. necessary), and other objects and ephemera. But most importantly, I have begun a notebook that details what letters I receive, and what letters I send.
This is a revelation of my OCD, I admit, but it seems necessary, as I now have over 50 pen pals, and counting. I found myself sending three cards to one and not to another, sending the same cards, the same thank yous, so I decided to organize it all.
This, of course, makes me deliriously happy. I have items and things with specific purposes!
I have the objects of ritual. Thus, I am beginning to form Ritual Itself.
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