Perhaps I should get some rest as well. We will have a Ceremony of Cups tomorrow, and I wanted you all to join in. It’s a rare tradition, but one these past weeks calls for. People all across Shen Ling will participate, in an effort to settle what we have lost, so we may fully embrace what we have won and the brightness of what’s to come.
Tonight, the potters wheels and ovens will be busy until dawn. A special cup of clay will be made for each person old enough to hold one. There will be light meals throughout the day, quiet mingling, and those who wish to give tribute to those who have fallen will do so before any who will listen. Through out the day, people will decorate their cups as a tribute to the fallen. All sorts of artistic tools will be laid out on the craft tables…people make ornaments to decorate their cups, they will paint them, even carve them. It is like, a kind of busy work each person does as they mourn, yet they do so surrounded by others doing the same. Then, only when they are ready they will join the great and wild feast that will start at sun down and go all through the night until dawn tomorrow. All through the feast people will drink from the cups, and when the bitterness of their loss begins to fade, they will break their cup, cast it on the ground or crush it in their hands, and declare to whoever is near their love for who has passed, and invite the spirits of mirth to dance in them and purify their pain. The cups are fragile, many break on their own or get smashed by accident in the revelry, but when this happens we say it is just the work of the spirit we are morning, telling us it’s time to move on. When one’s cup breaks by accident, it’s considered a very good sign. Some cups manage to survive the night, but eventually they break, and when they do, the time for deepest sorrow has passed. It is a beautiful expression no?
The ceremony is a way to say good bye, not to forget the fallen, but to say the time of morning is closing, and the time for living must be embraced. We are the living, and we must celebrate life, or else the dead have died for nothing…and besides, the good souls are in a better place…what is mourning but a deep sadness for what we have lost? Too much, and it turns into self pity, when we know our loved ones have only moved on, and we shall join them in the shining heavens soon enough.