Blessing the Dust

Blessing the Dust
For Ash Wednesday

All those days
you felt like dust,
like dirt,
as if all you had to do
was turn your face
toward the wind
and be scattered
to the four corners
or swept away
by the smallest breath
as insubstantial—

did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?

This is the day
we freely say
we are scorched.

This is the hour
we are marked
by what has made it
through the burning.

This is the moment
we ask for the blessing
that lives within
the ancient ashes,
that makes its home
inside the soil of
this sacred earth.

So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility
or for thinking
we are less
than we are

but for claiming
what God can do
within the dust,
within the dirt,
within the stuff
of which the world
is made
and the stars that blaze
in our bones
and the galaxies that spiral
inside the smudge
we bear.


—Jan Richardson
“Blessing the Dust” appears in Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons.

We are…

We do not become healers.
We came as healers. We are.
Some of us are still catching up to what we are.

We do not become storytellers.
We came as carriers of the stories
we and our ancestors actually lived. We are.
Some of us are still catching up to what we are.
We do not become artists.
We came as artists. We are.
Some of us are still catching up to what we are.
We do not become writers.. dancers.. musicians.. helpers.. peacemakers. We came as such. We are.
Some of us are still catching up to what we are.
We do not learn to love in this sense.
We came as Love. We are Love.
Some of us are still catching up to who we truly are.

 


A Simple Prayer for Remembering the Motherlode by Clarissa Pinkola Estes from The Contemplari manuscript ©200

taken for Contemplative Monk — FaceBook

The doorway into thanks (revisited)

 

So grateful for the beauty and wisdom you shared. Rest in peace, Mary Oliver.

Praying

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.”


Quote: Mary Oliver, Thirst
Image: Bella Foxwell

nights filled with thin places

 

“A thin place is where two worlds meet, where heaven kisses earth and eternal time brushes against ordinary time.”
Liz Budd Ellmann

We meet a time of transitions. Days to nights, earthly to sacred and back to earthly. Grounded in all that makes us human, we find ourselves in a series of moments when the air is thin and our vision sharpened.
Shepherds, Innkeepers, Wise ones from afar and terrified Kings, we join them all to witness a birth. A birth that stirs spirits with hope and promise. A birth that stirs egos with threat and tragedy.
The space between heaven and earth has grown thin. The divine was so close that eyes were opened and bodies charged with wonder and truth. A baby was born whose purpose was realized as he drew his first breath. The promise of a coming Messiah had been on the lips of prophets for many years.

Today we move quickly as did Joseph from his dream. An angel came to warn that his newborn was at risk of being killed by an enraged king. He led a donkey carrying Mary and the baby out into the night toward Egypt. 

A place to live in safety until Herod was no longer a threat.

Yet as they travelled away, I wonder if they could hear the cries of mothers watching their young sons killed at King Herod’s command. Today the Church remembers The Holy Innocents. First born sons put to death because Herod saw Jesus as a threat to his reign.

We witnessed these deaths just as we witnessed Jesus birth. The veil had thinned. God’s presence was real and the world knew it to be true.

‘A thin place is where two worlds meet…’ We are living through a time where the air is thin and vision sharpened. Rejoicing and revolting, we experience these stories as the foundation of our journey.

These nights – they are filled with thin places.