Boys, Bonfires and Funeral Pyres
Now don’t get me wrong, I am very partial to a quick ‘Gingang Goolie Goolie Goolie Watcha’ round the camp fire, as the best of us. But I am not “like totally” into bonfires. Mr P on the other hand just loves his bonfires, and any excuse to set fire to a bunch of old wood, and he is ‘heaven sent’. I was thinking about bonfires just the other day as an old friend sent me some pictures of someone we used to know, who had been, at their ending, burned on a pyre in India. Loved ones attended the ritual and danced around the pyre (there is a very strong smell for a bit). At the end of the process, all that was left was tinder and bones, and a clear picture of the person’s skull. I thought this was magnificent and think it would be much nicer to have someone’s skull when they were gone than a carton of ash that could be any old ash. Worth reading the hindu man in newcastle, BBC article that forbids him from having his body burned in a funeral pyre with all his family watching in the UK. I can really see the wonderment of being burned on a big bonfire and your soul flying off in the flames…sounds rather good to me. And then my skull could be put on the mantle piece with a flower in it! I found a cool site called the Good Funeral Guide that has a great little blog about funerals around the worlds and different traditions.
Goodness, not really being gloomy here. All happened because the old man had a bonfire in the garden, and wondered why men often seem to really love bonfires. Also thinking about all the significances of fires, beacons, light, heat.
SONG OF THE DAY
The Poozies -We Build Fires.
The Poozies began their career in 1990 after Patsy Seddon and Mary Macmaster, aka the Scottish harp duo, Sileas, had been working with singer Sally Barker on a solo album. They all agreed that a new women’s group was a good idea and when Sally met the all-Ireland accordion champion, Karen Tweed, at the Hong Kong Folk Festival, the band was born. This is a lovely track and the words are tops. It is also a lovely song to sing as a big choral piece, though the ‘bingo style’ tinsel fringey stuff in the back of the stage sort of add a strange incongruousness to the poignancy of the lyrics and performance.