Sunday, February 11, 2018

Ash Wednesday Mood

Yesterday was a mix of moods.  It began strangely, with my pre-dawn wanderings to get bagels (for more, see this blog post).  But my mood stayed buoyant.

We went to our the house of our friends so that my spouse could help with a repair project, of sorts.  Our friends got several pallets of mulch, and they came on a pallet.  During the winter, these friends love building fires in their outdoor fireplace, but wood down here is expensive.  Over Christmas, they borrowed our circular saw, but it soon became obvious that they could use my spouse's help.

I suggested this as a morning project, a brunch instead of our usual evening meal together.  So, yesterday that's what we did.  It was good to be together and catch up.  I have learned that during these events, the trick is to focus on what we have, not on what has been lost.  Yes, we used to all see each other more often.  But those days are not these days, and there's no way back to those days.

We got home and started to load the car for church; I have a huge arts project that we're doing as a group, and I'm giving our wooden easel to an elementary school teacher.  Our next door neighbor told us that his son was in a motorcycle accident and is in a coma in the hospital--his chances are VERY uncertain.

His son is in his early 20's, so he may have youth and strength on his side.  Still, I imagine it will be a long road back--if he can survive in these early weeks.  They were doing surgery on his broken hips yesterday, which I took as a good sign until I thought about the fact that he'd broken his hips.

I am thinking about broken bones at the other end of life, but this accident is a sobering reminder of how fragile we all are.  The accident didn't happen on the Interstate--it was on a city road, with a car that was pulling out of a gas station.

It was sobering news, and then I spent the rest of the night reading Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett.  It fit my Ash Wednesday frame of mind. 

Today I'm leading our art project at our interactive service at church.  Right now, in my car, I have 3 dresser drawers from a piece of furniture damaged in the flooding that came with Hurricane Irma.  I have a vision for shadow boxes, so I've put some damaged stuff in the car, along with a few branches and fading blossoms and clippers in case we want more.  Last week I told people what I had in mind and invited them to bring their own images of hurricane damage.

Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the day that reminds us that we're all made up of dust, and that we will return to dust.  We'll smudge our foreheads with ashes.  I've wondered if we need to think about additional metaphors, as those of us who have been going to church for a long time might have become inured to the metaphor of ash.  Will we generate new metaphors today with our hurricane damaged stuff?

Stay tuned!

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