A ritual was performed in my kitchen last night.
The moment the sun sank and pitched the world into blackness, the knives came out. They had been sharpened to a razor's edge the day before in anticipation of this ritual, their stainless steel shining gleefully. This was no ordinary ritual, and because of it, careful preparation had been made. A ritual of this sort was messy, very messy and special consideration was given to catch the drippings before they made their way onto the floor.
I brought my children in as witnesses. They wanted to play a role, anxious to participate even at the risk of they themselves getting messy. They had waited all day, nay, all year for this moment and their eyes shone with a fevered excitement. They begged to help, but I bid them wait; their time would come soon enough. They obediently sat on their chairs and waited, breathlessly, for the ritual to begin.
Summoning all my strength, I lifted the knife into the air and plunged it down. Despite the years of similar rituals, I was surprised at the difficulty of that first cut. Undeterred, I continued, until my arms ached and my knife had grown dull. With a final stab, I removed my knife, victorious at last.
The children rushed forward, ready now to begin that which they had waited for. With delight, they plunged their hands in and removed every stringy bit and piece. Over and over, they pulled out large and small chunks until their arms were covered.
The second stage of the ritual completed, it was time to move to the stage of the ritual that required the most skill, and dare I say, artistic vision. With knife once more in hand, I began creating. Not just creating, but giving birth to a new creation. Life from death. I stood back frequently to take in the full effect of my work, pausing to get every cut, every nick perfect.
And then, with one final flick of my knife, the ritual was completed. To celebrate, we lit a candle, stood back, and admired our work.