Pakhi praani khaoai.
Worship whatever gives you joy.
Those women were talking about dikhkha. I realized I could not begin to talk about the sacred in such open terms.
The sacred is, used to be, properly secret. [Is the secret sacred at first glance?]
Hidden. Inviolate. Immaculate. An immaculate conception. Why virginity is important.
As in Kumari Puja. Durga, the unreachable, the inviolate, can somehow be worshipped as inviolate virgin. Innocence is tantalizing to aware adults.
There is victory and invincibility in the ritual touching of one whom belief says cannot be touched. We touch, therefore, and are burned. Consider the belief in certain parts of the world that sex with a virgin will cure AIDS. The extreme can be extinguished by another. Except that fear and reverence have fallen out of the emotional network joining the two extremes in act and effect.
We touch idols and sacraments, too, receiving in belief that which is hallowed and which used to be. Prasad, the taste of sanctity, fruit of efforts that are made ‘prayer’ by what we give up to get more.
The thing, in the past, is conferred inviolability by the fact of being in the past. That which used to be is forever the best, the thing the future must be geared towards. Tradition, religion, lost wealth.
Therefore the supreme importance of history. Of how stories are told. The steady fruits of time, witnessed by all, are a triumph over Time’s ravages themselves.
Wrap the Thing in narrative cloth, drape it, layer it, embellish it, tell a story of imagination and play, and you have a Rubik’s cube to beguile eternity.
And what’s the harm? It is enough if art can please the “indolence of … youth/ Or an old man upon a winter’s night.”