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"Lent. Again" "Lent. Again"

From Dust you have Come, To Dust You Shall Return
From Dust you have Come, To Dust You Shall Return
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"Lent. Again"

Posted on Wed, Mar 1, 2017

Ash Wednesday

March 1, 2017

 

Lent.  Again

Lent.  Again.

Still humming a clinging scrap of Christmas music, still squinting through the bright winter light bouncing off the shining gifts of Epiphany, suddenly the wind shifts and you get a face full of
 Ashes.  Deep sighs and ashes and those somber words 
no one likes to say or hear, those words that make you 
think of all those friends and relatives who 
were swallowed by history so far, far too suddenly 
and way too soon, 
those words that taunt you, making you wonder 
if the 25-year warranty on your new gizmo or thing-a-ma=bob
 is just so much paper irony 
or a chuckle from heaven. 

 

Remember that you are dust.  
Ashes and dust.  And let me just mark it here
 on your forehead so you don’t forget, right here
 where all the world will see it and
 the well-meaning busy-bodies in the grocery store 
will awkwardly try to do you the favor 
of letting you know that there is 
a cross-smudge-of-mortality on your face.

 

Lent.  Again.  
 Forty days, not counting Sundays, 
of wondering about wandering 
in deserts of every kind, 
of negotiating one way streets that seem to take us on a 90 degree maze for rats, 
one road to another, 
 inching along on streets 
that never allow their advertised speed, 
 forty days to be mindful of inattentiveness, 
forty days to ponder why fasting goes so slowly.  
 Forty days to unpack and weigh the stuff you carry each and every day, 
to gingerly avoid jagged edges
 as you sort through, evaluate and discard because 
you have begun to learn the wisdom 
of traveling light or simply 
because your legs and your soul
 are not as strong as they once were
 and why take a risk of 
tripping before your time and 
falling face first into the dust and ashes?

 


Lent.  Again.  
  Forty days of all things tempting and tempting all things, 
forty days of analyzed appetites, considered cravings, 
delusions diluted and dispensed, 
forty days to wonder if you have spent your life 
constructing a coffin or creating a chrysalis, 
forty days bedeviled by the seductive suggestion 
to do and be merely good
 when the broken heart of heaven is 
spending its last erg of strength 
and last drop of blood 
to trudge uphill 
and endure the messy, 
agonizing business
 of making you new.

 


Lent.  Again.

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