Friday, April 30, 2010

Touring Amish Country

I am with a tour bus when we begin touring a Mennonite village. It is is a combination of a Iroquois longhouse and a bairn/mow with stalls of loose hay.

In the open space in the middle sun streaks down. There is chiaroscuro light. White bleachers are set up and a podium for the conductor. Rehearsals are on for the choir. Everyone in black robes with foppish purple bows at the necks take their position.

The rehearsal, it is explained, was arranged on a solar calendar schedule. On the lunar calendar they have a cycle of days of vows of silence. This would be one of these days. Since each is a rule and neither can be broken, both carry forward and they stand in formation, practicing the worship by mouthing the words without a sound.

Some of the tour group watches for a while. Some start to scatter off with cameras. S and B are are there. Most are dream creations. Later we fade out and watch the Mennonite Constabulary in dress uniform. The police are inspected by the tour group as it files thru the office.

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