Penumbra

This is a horizon time, an edge time.

We do not cross into the lands inhabited by the true of voice, but we hear them, those who have come to their final mooring place upon the western shores. The gates open – perhaps just a little – and we the living can give our good regard to our blessed dead, much as they look over us.

Do we bring food and drink, life-in-death, transformed for use for our ka and the ka of our ancestors? We step into that space between spaces, the edge of the world, where we can, once more, touch.

Do we anoint ourselves with perfume, and go about like the gods themselves, from whose every pore comes sweet scent to announce their comings and their goings? Then, too, we step into the horizon of the world, the shadow place between the daylit and the hidden.

Do we drink, as the custom is, pouring out our wine and our beer and raising them high before partaking of their richness? We bring ourselves into a different place than is the sober day, because we cannot reach across the boundaries between worlds when our own edges are entirely unblurred. This wine is what the gods drink; when we join the ancestors at their table, we will drink as they do when they feast in the halls of the gods, where they live on figs and drink wine. [1]

Do we bring flowers, that sharp spark of sudden, colored life that lasts for the time that worlds embrace and then fades once more as the Duat becomes the Duat and the seen and daylit world fades back into simple actuality? Is its scent the same thread that sews the worlds together with a weave-work of perfume?

This is a time when the seen brings its wealth to the unseen, a simple step in the regular dance of seasons of the world. Only as we give can those on the other side continue to give; only as we love are the worlds held close.

“For your ka! Drink the good intoxicating drink, celebrate a beautiful day.” [2]

[1] Mu-Chou Poo, Wine and Wine Offering in the Religion of Ancient Egypt

[2] Richard Reidy, Eternal Egypt, noted as a traditional toast for the Beautiful Festival.

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