|And we wouldn’t change a thing.|
Warts And All
In pagan times, with such little knowledge about how the world worked (it’s diseases, finding fresh water, what lightening was, why it wasn’t a good idea to live under an active volcano), people adopted a set of protocols that attempted to explain their lives, which were seemingly out of their control, very short, often painful, and riddled with uncertainty- sort of like today, only we have google and Prozac.
Their lives followed the rhythm of the seasons- PLANT-GROW-HARVEST- “hope ‘ya make it through the freakin’ freezin’ winter ’cause your man is an idiot who can’t even build a respectable hut”, kind of rhythm.
They worshipped the forces of nature, seemingly all powerful, and unabating.
There were many questions attached to specific rituals and in an attempt to find answers they often asked:
1) Why did all the women in a tribe bleed at the same time?
The Answer: So that it would take only one man to impregnate all of them. This is a lesson still practiced by today’s pro basketball players.
The Ritual: See what man in your tribe could throw his balls the farthest. Am I right ladies?
2) Why did women with large breasts attract the most mates?
The Answer: It is genetically imprinted on the male genome to identify full breasted women with being the most fertile. So as to increase their progeny, men often choose these women to participate in long, fulfilling love-making, accompanied by Belgian chocolate and child rearing, cooking, laundry, and fending off large ferocious animals- while the men were away looking for large ferocious animals and Belgium. And their own asses.
The Ritual: Today this is closely associated with a greater bartering ability, especially when in negotiations for a reality cable show.
3) Why did hair the color of golden flax find itself in flowing tresses on women that were often identified as being great seers?
The Answer: There is no answer. The world is still trying to figure this one out. It’s a mystery.
The Ritual: Play-acting, often using primitive tools, the obvious stupidity of the much sought-after buxom blonde in the tribe and wait for one man to acknowledge the obvious. This usually failed, thereby identifying the brunette as a witch and burned at the stake.
Many of these rituals were practiced in proximity to a wondrous display of nature, like a large rock formation, or mighty waterfall.
Today, we practice them in gigantic super-domes or with late night porn, but we still celebrate them, oh yes we do, with holidays like Halloween (the night when you would burn fires and mask yourself in frightening ways so as to fend off the evil that might follow you into the dark, or a lawyers office, in the months ahead), and on it’s heals, All Saint’s Day, a day of solemnity, celebrating all saints, both known and unknown. A day of obligation in assisting those trapped between purgatory and Heaven.
But this is New Orleans, where the saints are sinners too, Heaven and Hell are neighbors, and nature can be fickle, which must be why…
even our trees have warts.