Monday, April 7, 2008

A Wedding in Kaduna


Anonymous said...

well, from the painful to the sublime! Despite our fears the drive us to sacrifice children as witches, we humans continue to celebrate in hope. All celebrations are expressions of hope -- from birth to death itself, with a whole bunch in between, as in birthdays, baptisms, brises, weddings, and so on.

I firmly believe the very fact of marriage, that anyone would want to marry, is confirmation of a belief in tomorrow. We often think of history as having to do with yesterday, but I think history is really about tomorrow. We create history, we live the hope of tomorrow through what we do today. Our commitments, in song and ceremony, express our confirmed hope that there is a tomorrow, that the sun will rise yet again, and there is much to be accomplished as we strive forward.

A child is both a child, as in a human being, and a symbol -- the speaking of unlimited possibility in the future, the expression of opportunity to put it more banally. Children are the only reason to get up in the morning and trudge on doing what we do everyday. It is for them, not so much as our legacy into the future, but as a commitment to them as open-ended potentiality.

It is fascinating to see in the midst of all the colour and pomp of this wedding celebration there are the bright faces of children investing today with hope for tomorrow. They are hope incarnate, on two feet, running around with snotty noses and loud voices. No one said hope is always pretty -- it craps too.

Yet we are also people who fear, and face hopelessness, to the point where we will take our hope-filled future and throw her into a well to assuage the dark shadows that lurk in the corners of our lives....those slitty catlike eyes, pointed ears, swishing tail.

Ah, humans -- the blessing and bane of creation!

I often wondered how prepared we are as people to sing the songs of joy in the midst of our lowest moments. When the Hebrews left Egypt under the tutalege of Moses [aka the recently departed Charlton Heston], and crossed the Red Sea that had just parted itself, they reached the other side unscathed, not even sprayed wet. Miriam, Moyshe's sister, broke out into song and dance -- the triumphal song of victory over pharaoh and his army.

Would we be prepared to sing a song of triumph in the midst of our own defeat? Now, there's a challenge to the human spirit. It's easy to dance and sing when you're high on your own victory [even if you did nothing to win that victory]; it's not so easy to dance and sing when you are defeated. What's to sing about?! But maybe that is the time to sing and dance; maybe that's how we overcome defeat and triumph in the spirit where we are defeated in the flesh. Maybe that's why there is singing [and ritualized dancing] at funerals.

Some would say you can't get any lower than death. So how can you sing and dance! But it is exactly at that still point in life with all the clutter swept away that clarity comes to the fore. It is precisely there/then at the still point that the mystics dance the dance of enlightenment -- the dervishes twirl and spin, blotting out reality as we see it.

We need to read more Rumi, the mystic poet of Persia. Or Meister Eckhart, the mystic theologian of medieval Germany. We need to see what they see and rise above [?] the clutter of the everyday -- so that we can confirm and affirm the hope of tomorrow incarnate in a child.

Thanks for the beauty, which is as much part of everyday reality as the fear that haunts us.


Jenn said...

I want about half of the outfits that you photographed. Well, not the military outfits. Not the wedding dress either, come to think of it....

Sister J .... said...

Well done have a real talent behind the lens. AND as the saying goes...a picture is worth a thousand words....right Victor?!??
Sister J