The ceremony for the dead insects (translation from post in “Kittywoo por los tejados”)
Some days ago, one of my eyes was overflying a bookshelf of my living room like that, with no purpose, and just with no purpose landed on Masuji Ibuse’s “Black Rain”, fabulous book which relates the consequences the atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima had on people.
And in spite of the chilling plot and the details, I actually focused on a different thing. It turns out that I prefer to read pencil in hand since I like underlining and, sometimes, making notes on the side, on phrases that particularly have drawn my attention. But I don’t always have a pencil at hand, and in order not to break the pace of the reading I don’t get up to fetch one; thus many of the interesting stuff I’d like to remember later, remain unmarked and that’s precisely why most of things I do mark, are highlighted double.
That’s how it happened when I grabbed “Black Rain” from the shelf, I realized I had marked a page and, opening the book at that page, I found myself with the following:
“The ceremony for the dead insects was a rite that would take place two days after the festival for the sowing of rice; the farmers would make rice tarts as oblation for the souls of the dead insects which they had crushed without noticing while working the fields. The tradition also required, that same day too, all objects neighbours could have lent each other, would be given back.”
It’s not that I had underlined, at that moment, this paragraph that I know it was, among the rest of paragraphs on the same page, about this one, I know myself and know me, and when I glimpsed at it, I immediately reckoned, on a “clean” page, that it was the ceremony for the dead insects what I didn’t want to forget. Because it seems to me we are nuts, that we lost direction, that we are going like zombies from religious celebration to religious celebration, that even the true believers have forgotten the sense of their rites. Human being cannot assess anymore what’s important from what is not, the human being walks sad – and lone-er than he thinks himself to be- on earth, down a one-way street, full of signals, playing treasure hunt competitions that others have organized to keep him entertained and busy. They tell us: “dunnowho did that, and that’s why he is a martir” and we canonize him and then raise prayers to Heaven, and want to be like him, but not be him because he died and we don’t want to sacrifice ourselves, to find in the end there’s no Heaven and our prayers would not get anywhere, or even worse, when we think already got there, any prayer would reach us. Us-us-us-us-us and a mirror on which, the only thing we practically see reflected, is the poster of a movie that features Julia Roberts or the fifty millions of abominable shadows of blahblahblah.
What happened with common sense? Where’s that precious and simple respect for third and fourth parties? One cannot avoid shaking one’s head as if stretching oneself from a dream and wonder why is everything so absurd, how is it that living so simply is so complicated, how could we have allowed this … how is it we are so resigned, so obedient, paying so little attention to manipulation, so reliant on the “amen”. I want to go back to that of ceremonies for small things; if there’s a God –whichever it might be, it’s the same to me – that’s where it should be, if there’s a universal knowledge, it’s there where it genesis lies. The ceremony for the dead insects seems to me, I tell you the truth, of a vital relevance: I don’t think I could respect third and fourth parties if I don’t start by the praise of the untouchable ones. It seems to me it’s logical, beautiful, complete in its simplicity, I would like to explain it to the offspring I don’t have and celebrate it every year; actually, nothing prevents me from doing so, but the lack of understanding and rejection from my pairs but ¿what to do? Tagged as “weirdy” I move myself a bit farther and search support and complicity among my loved ones: my wonderful network of intelligent and interesting beings. And that’s why this year we close our eyes to Christmas celebrations and, finally will open the Solstice celebration when we’ll practice all pagan rites and we’ll laugh and do all that stuff you really do, when you find the sense and flavor to what they say it’s called “being”. There’s no sense in not searching the sensible and the senseless. The only way is to question the world and make it at our OWN image and likeness. But hey! the real one. The real one, not the one reflected in the mirror.