I like to pilgrimage graveyards - placing my purpose in homage to the ancestors there, even if they are not my ancestors. It helps me to say, I'm in this for the living and for the dying, the whole shebang, kit and caboodle, everything but the kitchen sink.
I worked last week with Paul Besaw's composition class at the University of Vermont on "site-specific" dances. I made up a structure for a leaf-transfer ritual. The class learned it in no time, and everyone - Lily, Leila, Dan, Caroline, Paul, Chris, Caitlin, Chris, Maggie, and Glennis, in a sling, did it on the last balmy day of autumn, smelling the perfume of hundreds of spicy leaves from my lawn on the other side of the mountain stuffed into their clothes. They danced together, ran themselves ragged, extracted the leaves to lay them down in new places, and fell to the ground asleep, over and over.
One week later, the mountains are dusted with snow. They tower above the last traces of color in the trees, taller than I've ever seen them. This is the first time I've witnessed the transformation, and the words "mountains' majesty" spring up on my tongue. They are kings and queens; we are truly at their knees.
I've felt differently about anything with a crown since I read "Being and Vibration," a wonderful book by Joseph Rael on sound, chanting, and many other things. He says that the chief of a tribe holds place; his headdress shows this place-holding. Everyone else locates themselves in relation to him. It is his duty, not his privilege, and thus chief-ness is important. The snow-capped mountains are certainly holding place, and you can't help but BE in relation to them. What a crown is exactly is as good a question as what a kitchen sink is.