Wednesday, February 22, 2012

water under the boat

When I first started this blog, years ago, I posted this poem:

Water in the boat is the ruin of the boat,
but water under the boat is its support.
Since Solomon cast the desire for wealth out from his heart,
he didn't call himself by any name but "poor."
The stoppered jar, though in rough water,
floated because of its empty heart.
When the wind of poverty is in anyone,
she floats in peace on the waters of the world.

Every year that I am preparing for Lent, I think of this line: "water in the boat is the ruin of the boat, but water under the boat is its support."  Lent is, at its core, an emptying of oneself, a letting go of our tight grip on all that we (perceive to) control.  Ash Wednesday ultimately reminds us that we have no control, the words spoken during the service of the ashes by Christians all over the world are these: "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return." 

This year during Lent I am seeking not to tighten my grip on control, but to let go of it a bit, to remind myself of where I really stand; who I really am.  I will be both sacrificing and adding.  Giving up to make space.  Emptying to fill.  

St. Catherine of Sienna wrote this: 
"Wisdom is so kind and wise
that wherever you may look 
you can learn something about God. 
Why would not the omnipresent teach that way?"

Even in the wilderness of Lent, may we find God in every corner. 

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