Ashy Hope

ashes

“Remember that you are dust…” my

bones, my muscles—dust? my

sinews, veins—all dust?

“…and to dust you will return”; words that

sting and push me to a charnel space  

dark with endings, loss, and ash; words

intoned incessantly as friends and

strangers kneel to feel the print of

cross upon our brows; feel with

sinners near and far the weight of who we

truly are—fragile, errant souls with

muddied lives, distorted dreams, and now the

black of ashes marking this, our too, too brief

mortality.

*

A cheerless mark, this dismal smudge that

signifies my dust; why, then, this

sprig of joy that’s rooting in these

ashes and insists on pushing up?  And

why this quiet hope persistent at the

edges of this gray?  Perhaps it is the

deep that calls to Deep, this real in me,

unmasked, that hears the Real

beyond, the Real who stirs my ashes,

calls my name, and tells me I am

loved in all my ashiness, that I will be made

clean and whole because of one who

scooped up all our dust and from his open

tomb sculpts from our cinders timeless works of

love beyond the ashes of this too, too brief

mortality.  

“Accomplish in us, O God, the work of your salvation.”

5 thoughts on “Ashy Hope

  1. “Remember that you are dust…” …“and to dust you will return”;
    Carol: I am in awe of your writing talents. Immediately I remembered these lines by Henry W. Longfellow: “Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave it not its goal; dust thou art, to dust returnest, was not spoken of the soul.” As you so beautifully say in your own verse: the Real who stirs my ashes, calls my name, and tells me I am loved.and that I will be made clean and whole… . Yes, indeed,
    …a sequel stands beyond, Invisible as music, But positive, as sound. -Emily Dickenson

    • I love those lines from Dickinson. “invisible as music, but positive as sound.” Wasn’t familiar with them, so thanks so much for sharing them–a lovely “sequel” to anticipate on this Ash Wednesday!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s