ash wednesday riding onward

It’s Ash Wednesday
I should change the color of my blog
Purple for Lent
Tomorrow I’ll change it

It’s Ash Wednesday
February 18
My cousin’s birthday
I asked on Facebook
“Will you get ashes on your birthday
and write about it?”
But is it too much this year
a reflection on mortality on a birthday
with a mother ill on the other side of the country?
Is that asking too much?

It’s Ash Wednesday
a time to stop and reflect
But there was a birthday
(The girl child is 8)
and Valentine’s Day
(We watched A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a 14-year-old)
and boys with fevers
(staying home from school
on days when there are lectures to watch and chapters to read and “discussions” awaiting participation)
and piano lessons
and today a talent show rehearsal
and a birthday treat to bring to class
(fortune cookies because it’s almost Chinese New Year
because the school discourages the cupcakes
so carefully made and brought
a rule they don’t enforce
but my kids never eat them anyway)
and a science fair project due tomorrow
and dinner to be made for the youth group
breaking bread together before the service
(and what do I serve teenagers + advisors + small children + staff who will be there all day, can they eat, too?)
and who is serving at the stations?
Did I get that text? Not yet?
Will I serve or am I the expendable one?

It’s Ash Wednesday
How will I proceed?
Will I write more?
Will I walk more?
Will I eat less
(and drink less?)

Or will I get caught up in Science Fairs
and birthday parties
and talent shows
and watch it ebb away
again.

It’s Ash Wednesday
and today I wrote this
It’s something.

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5 Responses to ash wednesday riding onward

  1. It IS something! Something wonderful. : )

  2. This is the article about the poet, Rachel Zucker, I wanted to pass on to you.
    “…these moments of exposure, of putting one’s worst foot forward, are important to the book’s strong effect of having been written, unlike most prior poetry about having kids, under the conditions it describes.”

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/06/02/mother-tongue-4

  3. Deanna Long says:

    Great reflection on your life….as it is…..right now! And usually!

  4. I am late to your post–but couldn’t resist letting you know how much I love your poem! And I am comforted by the content. I am in a less Ash Wed. place this year, but haunted by 2014, which was an Ash Wed. year–lots of hints of mortality, while others had more than a hint, which haunts me still. I love that your poem celebrates a full and wonderful life while hearing the call of the liturgical year too.

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