Reverb day 11: trellis

#reverbWhat tiny rituals: signal that your day is starting; help you ease into a creative project; give you closure from an intensive task; or mark other significant milestones in your day? What new rituals would you like to create in the new year?

I love rituals. When I think about going over to the Society of Friends, the lack of ritual (and, more to the point, the insistence on not having them) is one of the things that makes me think that I am not a natural Quaker. I find ritual works well for me as a sort of trellis; when I’m droopy and wilting the sheer structure of the thing holds me up, and when I’m healthy and blooming it’s still there in the background.

Big ritual. The whole liturgical year is one huge ritual; it spirals around from purple to white to green to purple to white to green with some red bits here and there, and it is reliable and predictable when I’m being nothing of the sort.

I’ve been experimenting this year with building more ritual into my life. I go to lunchtime communion on Wednesdays and lunchtime Pilates on Fridays. I have a prayerbook app on my phone and I read morning and evening prayer on the train to and from work. I use the ‘Angels of the Hours’ widget on gratefulness.org. I post something daily for the #100happydays meme on Twitter. A recent development is the ‘lie-on-the-floor-under-the-daylight-lamp-and-listen-to-an-album-om-the-iPod’ ritual.

And of course I don’t manage to do all of these in any given week. This is the point. I can drop out of them, but they are still there when I drop back in again. For me, it’s not about getting into such a rhythm of a thing that I can’t not do it; it’s about doing it as often as I can. Each one is good in itself, but the doing of it shores it up, so that even if I come back to it when I am down, there is enough left in it to reconnect me.

I need to be reminded, though. I mentioned a couple of days ago about wanting a chiming clock. This is why.

Kat talks in the prompt post about the coffee ritual. Mine is tea. I like, and drink, coffee, and it does form part of an occasional writing ritual (I sit down with a blank screen and a cup of coffee and an expensive chocolate, and see what’s on the screen when I get to the end of the coffee) but it isn’t the first thing I reach for in the morning. That would be tea.

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