the importance of the grandiose can’t be overestimated…!

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i have lost a lot of things in my time… i have also given away a lot of things… some of these have been offerings to other beings or the spirits of a given place…

in getting to know another being there is etiquette – we may not always know exactly what it is, and we may not always listen (or be able to listen) to the response – but it is always there… so it is in our dealings with other people, you wouldn’t run up to a random stranger in the airport and then hug them for 5 minutes or kiss them all over their face in an attempt to get to know them… most people would run screaming onto the next flight, whether it was theirs or not…

so it should be in our dealings with other animals – i have cringed over a whole group of us tourist humans jumping over the side of a badly driven too-close boat and people virtually harassing a whale shark, which – thank the gods – swam away… i have also been lucky to be able to befriend a lone dolphin, which took a serious amount of looking up things that dolphins might be interested in and offering them: rattling the chain on an anchor; singing high pitched “songs” (ok, just wailing really!) or offering a piece of seaweed… whilst keeping my distance and not making any attempts to approach or make physical contact… there are unspoken rules of engagement, you have to let the dolphin make contact with you first, lunging and grabbing is just plain rude and just means that they avoid you, at that moment and longer term…

so it should be in our offerings to places or deity too. we are attempting to create relationship, and, in this too, there are unspoken rules and a kind of etiquette… what we offer is important to the offerer. i have learnt that you don’t need to pile on the physical gifts – at first i was always trying to do this, keen to “give” as much as i could… but most times, i think the offerees were not that impressed, this just added clutter in an already over-cluttered world… just as you can pile on huge amounts of presents on someone, but these will not have the heartfelt meaning of a letter, handwritten in green ink, detailing your innermost feelings for them… i was lucky, i think they tolerated me and they have taught me to do the equivalent of writing to them in green ink…

and this is where the grandoise comes in… you wouldn’t give a gift to someone without making a ceremony of it, you’d put the card in an envelope, you’d make tea and toast for them in bed, flumpf the pillows a bit, wrap up the carefully chosen gift in glittering paper with a silver bow… you wouldn’t just throw it at them and grunt “there you are” and expect any kind of warm reception for your troubles… i have done the offering equivalent of this and felt so empty afterwards… the offer has to be accompanied by the ritual, however you design it, and this may change over time, as indeed any kind of ongoing relationship between two humans does, the first offering may look very different to something else further down the line…

grandoise language is also much appreciated too… a poetic spin on words, a plea to the winds, a song or a poem on the tongue – i will never forget the first time i heard song offered, in a kauri tree forest in new zealand, an old maori song sung deeply and beautifully to the largest tree, tane mahuta, in the early dusk, the shivers down my back stayed for days… if you want to woo someone, you need to attract them, you need to let them know how you feel, how attractive you find them, how they make you feel… if you fall in love, you tell them – you find new ways to say just how much you love them all the time… but you’ve got to mean it, words without feeling it are empty promises and will get you nowhere – the wind will scorn your lame efforts and whip the words away from your breath, they will sound hollow and cracked…

as we try to craft our relationships with those around us, like animals (other than humans) or trees or certain places, or even those far away, like the moon, we can learn – if we’re lucky and listen and resolve to refine our practice each time… how best we progress in this relationship and we receive as we give…

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2 thoughts on “the importance of the grandiose can’t be overestimated…!

  1. lornasmithers June 6, 2015 / 6:22 pm

    I’d agree about the dislike of clutter… dumped unceremoniously… sometimes words and actions speak louder and the way we let ourselves be transformed by rites and live by the insights they gift us.

    • ninamgeorge June 6, 2015 / 10:11 pm

      Yes! It’s relationship and connection… to give only is one way, to receive as well means so much more…

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