February 26th, 2007
|10:36 am - Usas, Writing and Working|
Yesterday, I sat at my computer. I'd gone to bed at gods-know-what hour after suffering through a major headache on Saturday, and woken up with suddenly nearly an enitre day to do two things:
The first thing I did was type up my ASL glossing for the test tesinth was going to help me record.
- Practice my ASL
- Work on my book
The second thing was sit down and move my book another step toward publication.
As I was writing a passage for the book, working on the "meat" of the book, which is chapter 6, "Deepening Your Practice," I found myself writing about sunrise rituals. I remembered the first time I had seen the sun rise, back when I was almost 19 years old, and thought about the effect it had on me.
Then I thought about my most recent actions regarding the sunrise, I realized that I had experienced the expanding days with a particular joy: Soon, I would be able to hold sunrise and sunset rituals again. Just today, it seems, the dawn comes at a time when I can rise before her, prepare the sacrifices, do my ritual, and still make it to work on time. I have truly missed this, and tomorrow morning I will re-start my dawn/sunset rituals.
I found myself, entirely to my surprise, suddenly writing about Usas, dancing on the rim of the world. She is the last of all dawns that came before her, and the first of all dawns that will come after her. She is that beautiful maiden whose bosom, rising from the waters of her bath, drenches the sky in the hues of morning. She opens the gates of heaven, the ways for Surya, the sun. She is greeted by those who make generous sacrifices and ignored by those who do not. It is almost as if the sacrifice can afford you a glimpse of her beauty, and it will forever affect you.
It strikes me as odd, that Usas and Ratri, so tied to perfect order, should call so strongly to me. Usas holds my heart, but there is a love for Ratri, too, and her prayers come at sunset. My facination with Usas might come from my stint as Surya at Walking With Fire in 2005, but it's hard to say. I suspect that it has more to do with the fact that I have done these dawn rituals, that I've seen Usas first hand, and every morning I fell in love with her again.
I agree with MacDonell, that there truly is no other figure in literature nor myth who is as charming or described with more deep love and emotion as Usas. I smile when I see the dawn, that knowing smile a lover gives to his beloved. I know how the poets felt when they saw her, and I know what they thought when they thought of her. I don't feel as if I can speak and do justice to her, and the things I write are never as beautiful as she.
Praised through my prayer are you who should be lauded. You have increased our wealth, Usas who loves us.
Goddesses, may we win, by your good favour, wealth to be told by hundreds and thousands.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: rejuvenated
Current Music: "Please Take Your Drunken 15 Year-old Girlfriend Home", -JB
Thinking about this topic makes me happy.
I should introduce myself to Usas, I think. *My* only experience with Usas is having a close online friend long ago who went by Usha or Ushas in the same spirit, and I don't think that is saying too much. ;)
I'm shy around Vedic deities, though, much as I am oddly shy around goddesses. Does it say something about me that I apparently don't trust the women up there? :P It's nice that people are rapturously in love with the various bath-dripping bossoms of female deities, but I think some part of me suspects that anything with a bossom is inherently dangerous.
Then again, I've never really courted a goddess who wasn't associated with something dangerous.
I believe that worshiping the Vedic deities, in general, is playing with fire. But then, it's a fire religion.
But Usas has something different from so many others: she is beauty, she is light, and she uncovers those treasures that darkness has covered.
She's complicated, and beautiful in those complications.
Why is she complicated? She sounds remarkably straightforward.
Some see sunrise as simple, easy, and uncomplicated.
I no longer can.
The colours, the constant changing of the rising sun, the revelation of light for only a moment before she blushes and hides it again behind a cloud. . .
There is nothing simple about the dawn, nothing straightforward.
For all her order, for all her maintenance of the laws of the world, she is complex in all her manners and all her ways.
I think it depends on how you define 'simple.' Your response seems to indicate that you find the notion of dawn being simple somehow belittling, but I don't think that's the case. I think there is something beautifully simplistic beneath all of those moving lights, those fluctuating colours, the ephemeral quality of dawn. And when I say simplistic I do not mean plain, mundane, or predictable; I mean something pure. Something essential. Something that, upon beholding the dawn, fills you with a feeling of hope and rebirth every time you stop to behold it.
I am not necessarily talking of Usas here because I do not know her, but it seems almost antithetical to me to describe a goddess of the dawn as 'complicated.' Isn't part of the magic of dawn its newness and its purity? That fact that you can rely on it coming every morning, and that with it will always come hope and a private moment of love, devotion, and admiration? Dawn is an expression of innocent to me, that inheld and softly exhaled breath before the chaos of the day unfolds.
Again, I'm not against your opinions, just confused. Why would you want to start the day off with complications?
This is probably the most beautifully written entry I've read by you.
Thank you. :) It's still not enough. I find words lacking to describe Usas, and I always have. The Vedic poets couldn't do her justice, but they got closer than I can. That might be why I steal so much from them (the way I speak and write about her is very, very heavily influenced by the Rgveda).
And hey! Just because you watch her get out of her bath every morning like a lecher doesn't mean she's not innocent. Them's YOUR naughty tendencies.
There also ain't nothing wrong with being naked in public. ;)
It is she who reveals, whether I watch or not.
I did a dawn rite the other day as I was walking to the train. It was impromptu, and I hadn't planned on it ... But it became necessary, or perhaps, I was just open enough to realize the necessity at the time. Or maybe I was just bored, but I don't think so.
And, afterwards, I think I got it... The 'it' being that the liminal time between night and day is a perfect time to worship, symbolically and actually ... And if it wasn't for my sleep schedule being so wack, I'd love to do it again and again.
Side note, sometimes when you write things like this it makes me happy.
Making you happy is central to my life, babe.
And yeah, liminality is perfect for worship :) It's uncertain, a little weird, and sometimes frightening. But it's perfect.
Have I mentioned I am looking forward to seeing you in Greece? No? Well, consider it mentioned.
I am certainly looking forward to seeing you there, as well.
I just picked up my tickets from FedEx today :)
You never really saw the sun rise until you were almost 19? That seems so late somehow, though I guess that shouldn't surprise me about you. You never seem to do things in a conventional manner.
As much as I prefer the night, I still revel in the dawn and the sunrise. In a way, I think I refuse to discriminate against any part of the day. Every part has the potential for greatness in some way, shape, or form.
Nope. I'm not sure where I would have seen it rise, since I don't ever remember having been up that late/early. I'm really a city boy with the woods in my back yard, at heart. I'd sleep in, not wake up early, and watch cartoons. And I was more concerned about the cold than the sunrise if I was out waiting for a bus to go to school.
And my senior and junior years in high school, well, I never saw the sun: I was in school before it came up and didn't leave school until it was fully set.