After a busy couple of weeks at home Ken and I are now in Paris for our anniversary trip. Over the 2 weeks before we left Nathan had 2 planned infusions (yea that means 6 months have gone by with no problems) a few MRIs to check on things (hours and hours) SAT, ACT (both college entrance exams for folks who are lucky not to know) and a few small medical things for me. I’ve also returned to my internship and am loving renewing my connection to River Road Unitarian Universalist congregation and the staff there, with renewed energy and passion for ministry. Nathan has started AP history summer school and is really liking his teacher. He’s staying at home with a friend who is “house sitting” NOT watching him.
Ken and I flew off to Paris a few days ago and will continue to pretend we live here for another week. Trips to the cheese shop, green grocers, staying in an apartment walking distance from great museums and with a view of the top of the Eifel Tower. Wonderful meals and the gift of time. So good to feel so good!
One of our museum trips was to the fairly new Museum Quai Branley. It is a museum of African, Central America and Polynesian traditional arts. Unlike anything I’ve seen elsewhere – overwhelming in its creativity and depth of vision*.
Many rooms are filled with masks. I wondered about the meaning and use of masks in a way that seeing 5, or 10 never got me wondering. Something about seeing 100 or more lets you know their cultural importance. As I wondered the answer came to me in this, one of the few English captions. “Masks which are brought to life through dance, are go-betweens linking the land of the living and the world of the spirits… Masks are brought out for a variety of events and fulfill a range of purposes. They may inspire terror or laughter, appearing at any time .. Showing themselves in broad daylight or only after nightfall. Sometimes they are for initiated eyes only.”
Dear one – Masks to make us dance, masks to link our worlds, masks to make us laugh. Masks to help in our healing. Let it be so.
* Let us hope all were properly paid for and not just colonial takings!