The connection with history was hard to miss during the Coronation of King Charles III. Some version of this ceremony has happened for many, many centuries in Great Britain–can you believe that this ritual has been held at Westminster Abbey for almost a thousand years? Hard to fathom.
I’ve loved walking the cobblestone streets of the past all over Europe, imagining life as it once was. I am not only aware of history but respond to it viscerally, in body and mind. I can almost place myself back in those times. And that’s why I loved the Coronation. It represents the weight of history.
Is the monarchy outdated? That is not for me to decide. But I do appreciate that it is a link with what’s come before. I think that is important. Ancient rituals are important. Remembering the past is important.
Maybe we don’t get it
Maybe here in America we don’t quite understand that.
We are a young country. But Europeans live among historical buildings and monuments, reminded daily of history, if they pay attention.
We are a country obsessed with recreating history –because it wasn’t fair. But it’s impossible to recreate history. It’s happened already and it was rarely fair, anywhere.
Why don’t we try learning from it?
We can not revise it or recreate it, or cover it up, or deny it–we can only learn from it. We can not make up for it except by doing better now. This is why I don’t believe in reparations. I do believe in change, though. In progress.
If we spent half the energy we spend tearing down old monuments to making real change, we might get somewhere. Perhaps you recall last month’s post after I visited the monument to Dr. Martin Luther King and was reminded of how far we have not come.
History is important. Symbols of history like coronations are important. It doesn’t mean we glorify them. It means we pay attention. Assess them. Learn from them.
And do better.
I’d love your thoughts.
Oh and a reminder of my shop here, with beautiful, gentle tools for healing and grief.
Love this, Carol! I think we crave a sense of history and tradition. Our American life is moving so quickly that some of the “old stuff” gives us comfort — even if it’s “across the pond.”
I think so. I just can’t judge it by today’s standards.
Learning requires an open mind, something I’ve not seen a lot of in this country. The idea of not learning, just staying stagnant, doesn’t bode well for our future.
Yes, you and I are aligned on this, for sure.
I firmly believe when we work to combine the challenge of the future with the wisdom of the past, WE DO BETTER. Yes, Great Britain has its evil aspect of history, and yes, it had its leaders who cared more for comfort and power than the people in the streets. So many came here. We built a new land. But there is ALWAYS power in our history. And from watching the ceremony for King Charles they have one major positive that we are clinging to and that will eventually destroy us. GUNS!!
Can not disagree, Beth.
What I love about British tradition is that we know (or think we know) so much about the participants. It’s an incredible soap opera set against this amazing pageantry and ceremony. The combination is fascinating.
Yes, there’s absolutely that, Laurie!
I loved how King Charles combined ritual from the 12th century with modern touches (including religious leaders of various faiths, people of color participating, etc.) and also shortened at least one segment (the homage) which may have been tedious for this 70 plus year old man. Was it just my imagination, or did he seem tired and “out of it” at times? Or maybe he was simply overwhelmed. I have never been outside the North American continent. I loved witnessing this history.
Slippery slope between reparation and change. I love Europe. Have lived in Spain and traveled through many of the countries. All the feels, yet I’m not sure a Eurocentric lens will lead us toward the real change we need in this young country, especially since we inherited many of its ills. But it’s something to consider, focusing more on change and less on reparation. I like this notion.
I don’t believe in pain and suffering damages, either. I was once let off a jury because of that!
I love every minute of this pomp and circumstance and tradition! I woke up early as a young girl to watch Princess Di marry her prince, her funeral, the Queen’s funeral and this. Oh and both young Princess’ weddings. I find it comforting. And the people watching is top notch!
I love it, too. I just do!