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A White Ceremony     by Jessica Lynn Deltac   © 2002

I have climbed many peoples' stories to the peaks of their nations,
In order to find truth in the deep roots of tradition.
      I have placed offerings at alabaster altars for approval and direction.
      I have bowed to tiny horizons writhing with ancestral images.
      I have circumambulated gods and goddesses in human form vested with animal heads.
      I have let kohl eyes and flour-dipped fingers press awareness deep into my heals.
      I have danced Kachina step to bestow rain, crops and good health for the Pueblo.
      I have chanted with crimson in my throat and crystal visions in my head.
      I have wrapped my blood-stained sheets on the Maypole for a new season.
      I have had shaman feathers waft my scent towards the releasing of the dead.
      I have set my fingers spinning through Tibetan mantra for the reborn.
But I have found only modest dreams in the traditions of my upbringing ...Until now

In the hollow white dress
Laid out before me as carefully as a body,
Stir my culture’s roots of ancient truth.
The past hovers like planets Over this gown of beads, crossroads and silk,
Enfolding me into a chosen life of being known.

Walking in on the arm of my fatherhood,
Voices, colors and feelings softened,
As if seated at the bottom of a pool.
Life is said to flash before your eyes with regret,
Yet no fears danced before me and no woes attempted to woo me.
For as I glanced at everyone held far back,
Beyond my veil of illusion and protection,
Only confident peace filled me.

This calming tide released me unto the center of His arena
In a chapel warmly filled by those invited and invoked.
We were in a 200 year-old church, but not upon the altar,
Instead we took our stand before a marble-veined Saint on bent knee
Who silently spoke of believing in "Self" as strongly as "God".
At the feet of this idol,
      Laid a Native feather I had forged and poured in bronze,
Beneath the flowers of fidelity,
      Dangled Tibetan chimes to hold and open dimensions.
Within the pages of purple and silver,
      Burned knots of love and words of holy men and women.

And as we stood amidst the breath of our tribes of origins,
We placed ambitious words on each other's chest
Like medals of honor offering fealty for a lifetime.
Time itself flew and flowed between tradition, expectation, and fulfillment
As we respectfully nodded at the baggage we both carried with us.

We exchanged a light, full-spiral kiss before countless eyes,
Our galaxy of stars staring down upon us.
And from that spiral, we walked down the aisle, arm in arm,
Feeling sacred and well-promised for the volcano's edge.

As Husband and Wife, we were upon our first gateway.
With forged iron in our palms, we pulled back the massive door
To reveal a rolling mist blanketing us from a twenty-first century,
Filling even the fingers of mammoth trees with soft cotton.
As one mind, we considered closing and opening the portal again,
But our bellies were brimming with confidence
From the world's pleasure in our union...

So we stepped forth into the mist and into our marriage,
Surrounded by drifting bellsong from the full-bellied chapel.
The ringing was long like a river, like a long white river.
For, the space between everything was alive with whiteness.
White to connect us.
White to silhouette us.
White to believe in.
White to kiss in.
White for the death of it and
White for the birth of it.

So we drifted in the White of it,
And were lifted into the Ceremony of it,
The White Ceremony of it all.