16 February 2014

Perpetual Motion: Rituals

Every society, every culture has its own rituals; ceremonies, rites of passage, coming of age or passing away. Amarrian rites stand out as so very formal, Matari so passionate; they all serve this basic need that people seem to have, of marking changes. And everyone has their own personal little rituals, in their very own way.

Because, you know, those little rituals do help.


Age seventeen: Tash-Murkon Prime

"Miss Catherine."


"Everything is ready, mademoiselle."

"Thank you, I will just need a few minutes."

I cut the comms and sighed. It was time to say goodbye.

I walked determined across the House until I reached the door to my bedroom and knocked, knowing there was no one inside. You know... to hear the sound just once more. I knew that door so well -its heft, how to push it exactly so it would not slam... or exactly so it would- how to listen to sounds muffled behind it, how to block it from House control. I opened it slowly and stepped in.

"Goodbye my bedroom," I said to the now empty space. The intricate golden ornaments of the household were there but all my things were gone. It looked smaller, somehow, without the furniture and stuff lying around. It used to be such a mess. And it felt weird like... someone else's already. Of course it wasn't mine: it was tidy.

I looked around as I slowly walked back, picturing every thing the way they used to look, posters, dresser, my backpack, holodesk. Coming out of the bedroom and through my personal quarters, I ran my hand over a massive wooden table that would have to stay. "Goodbye. I am sorry I cannot take you along." The texture of the wood felt so rich and smooth to the touch and the grain looked beautiful; along with the dark hue it had this sense of power, old power and secret deals. I have found similar in boardrooms since, but I bet they don't know half of what mine did of overnights and study, of friends and confessions, of breakfast, of passing out. "I will miss you, you know that."

The family chambers, right outside mine, were still full of the trappings of family life. Maybe a bit less, maybe a bit older now. It had been a family of four long ago, and then three. Now it would become a family of two. Maybe it was too big now. Or maybe dad would be transferred and it would be assigned to be the home to some other family and some other teenager. Well, that is the way it goes, is it not?

"Goodbye, my home," I said to myself.

The household staff were assembled by the door. They were a diverse bunch, gallies and takis, jin-meis and whatnot; from dad's embassy liaison, to the cook, to mom's nurse. Among them, they never found a single spy. Maybe there even was not one.

I said goodbye to each and every one, mentioning little personal details, sending regards to their families and presenting each with a small formal parting gift. Yah, one acquires some local customs after so many years. There were smiles and tears too, those were definitely imports.

I took a long last look at my home. Former home. The next time I came it would be as a visitor and I knew it would not feel the same.

I turned to the head of the household staff, "Mr. Asahir, I am ready."

The man in front of me made a quick gesture and I felt familiar hands fitting a cloak on my shoulders. We had always disputed that, I would insist on wearing the cloak myself, he would argue that it demeaned staff to be deprived of their rightful duties. Stubborn old man.

So for the last time I rolled my eyes at him, smiling.

"The transport will take you to the Consulate where your family awaits; they will then see you to the spaceport. Your luggage will be transferred directly to your new lodging in Luminaire. Will there be anything else?"

"Will you please take care of them."

The Nefantar smiled wryly. "Of course, Miss Catherine. You need not ask."

"Goodbye Hort," I said knowing how he disliked that nickname. "Thank you for everything you have done for us. For me."

"Goodbye mademoiselle."

"Goodbye everyone, take care."

Goodbye old life.

Hello new adventure.


Moving is always a painful occasion. Sometimes you do not understand the significance until much later. Sometimes you do understand and -especially when you have staid somewhere long enough to grow roots- maybe that makes it all the more painful. It hurts.

But you find ways to cope with it. Maybe moving was an exception not to be repeated and you find a bright future in your new home. Or maybe a new adventure which will last you all of fifteen minutes, until you have to move again.

So you come up with your own little rituals. Rites of passage for easing the pain, to remember what you used to love of your old life, or to embrace your new life with passion. For rituals mark change, and change is what you make of it. I choose change to be good.

Here is to good change. Cheers,