08 May, 2009

first times

I remember my own 1st communion. There were only two of us prepared to receive. And we had simple, inexpensive dresses. No frills. We had been drilledd on protocol: do not, under any circumstances bite the host! Don't touch it, don't drop it, don't spit it out. Mine stuck to the roof of my mouth and I began to choke. My eyes teared up and my mother seemed to be embarassed. I had to go out and get a drink of water to "melt" the wafer in order to finally get it to go down. Nyah was very poised, and had it all under control. Obviously she looked and behaved like a princess. An impatient princess, but still with an aura of regal charm. I love this shot of her framed by the priest and her parents, highlighted by the window with the cup to her lips. Blessed wine bringing blessing, the beginning of a long exploration of spirit made flesh.
What does that feel like at 8 years old? The ritual, the candles are all somehow seductive. The image of surrendering to higher will, mistaken sometimes for the masculine will is drilled into our psyches. And we live with the temptation to value ourselves, our own dreams and talents less than the demands, dreams, and beliefs of the male figures in our lives.

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