Jan. 30, 2021

A Wandering Mind and Cult Daydream

Reading is something I do both academically and for pleasure; however, my mind tends to wander when I read. I lose myself, not in the words in front of me, but rather in thoughts that slither their way into my mind somehow. They’re a distraction that comes at unknown times, taking me away from the current focus. This doesn’t happen just with written word either for it also occurs with verbal. My focus is pulled between reality and those thoughts of inquisitive nature or maybe those of imagined occurrences teetering between both possible and fantastical. For me, my mind’s eye pulls me in with images not of the literal sense, but from a molding of details and concepts creating undulating pictures that can become more if fully focused on when in a state of detachment from reality. Their stories are composed around an inner dictation that, after time, fades away, allowing the mind to take hold of what they’ve been given and weave it together into a sense of wonder. Of course, detachment takes time, more time than I allow myself to fade away from a literary or oral focus. However, in times of silence, when I lay awake letting the clock tick by, I let my mind wander, I let myself become detached, I let myself daydream stories that find their way into the mind’s studio. There, a script is written with a performance presented along with it. It is one of the reasons for why I find myself thinking rather than writing because I crave that vivid imagery that comes with detachment.

One of these stories is that of a cult celebration in an isolated location, possibly a forest clearing. There, a gaggle of people, seemingly devotees of some sort, have gathered together for festivities that last from morning through the night. This daydream has been flipped over a few times, so the details have become more crisp and orderly with an actual beginning leading to various visible points. The story starts at an unknown amount of time before that actual event with a handful of members going out to hunt the meat for the celebration. In a small sacrificial altar, robed individuals gather a plethora of captured animals where the one with the knife cleanly slits the throat of each individual catch upon a stained wooden alter stationed below. All recite a prayer of thanks and apologies during the bloodletting. After, the animals are taken to a chilled room where they are hung upside down to continue the release of blood.

A new scene begins with a priest, a Father trying to convince two men into coming to the future celebration. These two are new to the church and Father is happy to push them more into the community side of the faith. Though starting with some trepidation from getting together with people they don’t know in an unknown location, Father convinces them that it’ll be a fun experience and will bring them closer to both the faith and community.

It is the day of the celebration. There are people talking and children playing. There is plenty of food with some of it being cooked right there filling the air with the scent of fresh food and burning wood. Father could be found talking to anyone in his path as he makes sure that everyone is getting along and joining in on the festivities. When the two new guys came, he made sure to greet them and push them towards conversation.

As the day went on and dawn approached, the children were taken to another location for the forest's night rituals were for those being blessed into coming of age and to those already in adulthood. With the disappearance of the sun comes the journey towards the unlit bonfire. Those coming of age strip themselves of their robes and are marked with a thick, reddish-brown substance painted upon their skin in a practiced pattern by select members as rhythmic words are read by Father. After painted, they are given firewood that they are told to put their prayers into. As they prey, Father alights the kindling of the bonfire creating a quickly growing flame. Once lit and prayers imbued, the new adults throw their firewood into the fire creating a burst of color and crackling that swirls into the flames up towards the heavens where their prayers splinter off to be delivered towards those listening above. Each color represents a meaning known by the taught. Father announces for them the meanings behind their colors and how these are the prophecies for the new sun cycle. Cheers ring throughout the crowd, congratulating them on their first steps of adulthood. The new adults get dressed before rejoining the crowd who all also have a log that they have whispered their prayers to. One by one the people throw their wood into the fire that sparkles, dazzles, and dances with colors and swirls. Before each person rejoins the crowd, a small cup of an unknown liquid is taken. Finally, the new adults reach the front again where they are personally handed their cups to by Father.

He raises his cup towards the heavens and cries a prayer and quotes a sermon tying in with the cycle passed and of hopes for the new one. With that, he takes back the liquid in one gulp. With the rise of his empty cup, the crowd cheers before throwing back their own.

The night continues, songs are sung, food continues to be eaten, and people dance. It is joyous. However, it is also along the edge of unfocused crisp. A fog slides over the minds of the people as they let the strange liquid take over their actions—wobbly coordination, uncontrolled laughter, the intensity of touch, unknown and strange worlds. Some stand or lay still as they take in the night air on either clothed or bare skin, letting the moon’s light and fire’s warmth caress their vary being. Others indulge in each other in acts of a sexual nature or that of a dancing one. Some wander into the surrounding forest, into the unknown territory of trees or water. Others may gorge on the food, filling that of which feels ever empty. There are even those that continue to talk be it to another or to one only they can see. While some find themselves passed out. It is a night felt and indulged, but not truly remembered.

Written by xandraxian

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