Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Pieces of a Dusty Wednesday in March

Here is a random collection of words and images that were part of today's (somewhat later than usual) beginning of the annual journey towards Easter. As we see above, the starlings still gather in the treetops in the last days of a Winter that never quite got started this year. Spring begins to be in the air, but the trees are bare and the bird's head is black as ashes.

"Ash Wednesday" is always a good time to "turn again" to the verses of T. S. Eliot's great poem named for the day and expressive of what was in 1930 his newfound faith. I love this poem so very very much! Here is the text of Part 1.

Ash Wednesday (Part 1)

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Because I do not hope to know again
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again

Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessed face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.


Now for the sunset with its varied hues:

Next, if you haven't given up all music for Lent, listen to this terrific song that I have been playing again and again through the day. Here is a voice that has been singing out with deep, sometimes ringing strong, sometimes smoky bluesy tones in Contemporary Christian Music in the past few years. Lauren Daigle brings her very special style to this worship song based on the text of Ezekiel 37.

Here are some texts to help us focus on the journey ahead:

And there is the promise that strengthens us in the midst of our sacrifices, which bear fruit even in the present life. Let us not forget that we are living a great adventure. Following Jesus gives us the first taste of the joy of our destiny right now, even as we live here in this world, day by day. It is a life greater than we could ever make for ourselves; a life of suffering too, but with the hope that enables us to endure and the light that leads us forward. The Lord Himself tells us about this adventure, this life of sacrifice and joy and suffering and hope: