7pm The Old and The New

I was writing a post where I started to talk about ritual.

Then some silly computer thing happened and I lost it all.  Unfortunate, since I cannot reproduce the work and I had half a mind to just chuck it all, let people know I had computer problems and call it a night. They would understand: computer frustration is a reasonable excuse to quit, right?

Then my table companion, in his pursuit of food, mentions that he is definitely getting something special, because it is not often that he is released from his Monday night ritual. Now maybe that’s a sign, maybe not but let’s give this another crack anyway.

As the old year passed and we celebrated, I saw a friend receive a marriage proposal. Two rituals rolled into one night. Here I am, writing a post again while having a brew, back to a ritual again.

I don’t believe in doing anything just because you do it. I want to know why, I’ve always wanted to know why; a source of occasional frustration for my parents and friends. Nevertheless, I do understand that ritual matters and how important it can be if you know why you’re doing it.

So, we say goodbye, we say hello and recognize the accomplishments and trials and everything we can remember. Reasons may differ but if we’re doing it right, I think that we’re engaging in those rituals to honor our past while looking forward to our future. “That happened. I accept it. Now I welcome the next thing.”

Which is why I’ll start sacrificing children to Ra tomorrow.

In truth, so much these days pushes us ever forward and although our pasts become more and more accessible every day, there is a Very Loud voice insisting on the right now, on the next thing. Rituals ask us to stop and actually exist in the now and acknowledge our pasts. We don’t have to live there, nor demand that the now or future mirror the past but I think that it’s important to pause and take a look at the past if for no other reason than because those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

I recognize that I’ve spent the past few weeks breaking some of the rituals I’ve had while writing and it’s been throwing me off my game. In this case, my ritual is part of my toolset and if I don’t use my tools, how can I ever get better?

alaskan barleywineTonight I’ve had an Alaskan barleywine, recommended to me by Neil. I rhave met him before, during the “Whatever You Say” theme and he consistently recommends solid beers to me. He said, “It’s caramel and roasty, without being cloying, and a nice hop bite at the end.”

All I can add to that is to say that the hop bite is a grapefruit flavor, which lingers pretty strongly and helps keep this beer along a tight line, with those sweeter flavors corralled back into a palatable range. But know when to leave it, I say, so I won’t add any more to Neil’s description.

What I am going to say is: Thank you, to everyone reading, wherever you are. (The stats tell me people in Africa have viewed this blog. I can’t even imagine!) May 2012 fix things that are broken, improve the things that are awesome, and allow the rest of the shit to slide off your back.

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