Ash Wednesday by TS Elliot

Ash Wednesday

T. S. Eliot


Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man’s gift and that man’s scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the agèd eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Because I do not hope to know
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is
  nothing again

Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessèd face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still.

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.


Lady, three white leopards sat under a juniper-tree
In the cool of the day, having fed to sateity
On my legs my heart my liver and that which had been contained
In the hollow round of my skull. And God said
Shall these bones live? shall these
Bones live? And that which had been contained
In the bones (which were already dry) said chirping:
Because of the goodness of this Lady
And because of her loveliness, and because
She honours the Virgin in meditation,
We shine with brightness. And I who am here dissembled
Proffer my deeds to oblivion, and my love
To the posterity of the desert and the fruit of the gourd.
It is this which recovers
My guts the strings of my eyes and the indigestible portions
Which the leopards reject. The Lady is withdrawn
In a white gown, to contemplation, in a white gown.
Let the whiteness of bones atone to forgetfulness.
There is no life in them. As I am forgotten
And would be forgotten, so I would forget
Thus devoted, concentrated in purpose. And God said
Prophesy to the wind, to the wind only for only
The wind will listen. And the bones sang chirping
With the burden of the grasshopper, saying

Lady of silences
Calm and distressed
Torn and most whole
Rose of memory
Rose of forgetfulness
Exhausted and life-giving
Worried reposeful
The single Rose
Is now the Garden
Where all loves end
Terminate torment
Of love unsatisfied
The greater torment
Of love satisfied
End of the endless
Journey to no end
Conclusion of all that
Is inconclusible
Speech without word and
Word of no speech
Grace to the Mother
For the Garden
Where all love ends.

Under a juniper-tree the bones sang, scattered and shining
We are glad to be scattered, we did little good to each other,
Under a tree in the cool of day, with the blessing of sand,
Forgetting themselves and each other, united
In the quiet of the desert. This is the land which ye
Shall divide by lot. And neither division nor unity
Matters. This is the land. We have our inheritance.


At the first turning of the second stair
I turned and saw below
The same shape twisted on the banister
Under the vapour in the fetid air
Struggling with the devil of the stairs who wears
The deceitul face of hope and of despair.

At the second turning of the second stair
I left them twisting, turning below;
There were no more faces and the stair was dark,
Damp, jaggèd, like an old man’s mouth drivelling, beyond repair,
Or the toothed gullet of an agèd shark.

At the first turning of the third stair
Was a slotted window bellied like the figs’s fruit
And beyond the hawthorn blossom and a pasture scene
The broadbacked figure drest in blue and green
Enchanted the maytime with an antique flute.
Blown hair is sweet, brown hair over the mouth blown,
Lilac and brown hair;
Distraction, music of the flute, stops and steps of the mind
over the third stair,
Fading, fading; strength beyond hope and despair
Climbing the third stair.

Lord, I am not worthy
Lord, I am not worthy

                              but speak the word only.


Who walked between the violet and the violet
Whe walked between
The various ranks of varied green
Going in white and blue, in Mary’s colour,
Talking of trivial things
In ignorance and knowledge of eternal dolour
Who moved among the others as they walked,
Who then made strong the fountains and made fresh the springs

Made cool the dry rock and made firm the sand
In blue of larkspur, blue of Mary’s colour,
Sovegna vos

Here are the years that walk between, bearing
Away the fiddles and the flutes, restoring
One who moves in the time between sleep and waking, wearing

White light folded, sheathing about her, folded.
The new years walk, restoring
Through a bright cloud of tears, the years, restoring
With a new verse the ancient rhyme. Redeem
The time. Redeem
The unread vision in the higher dream
While jewelled unicorns draw by the gilded hearse.

The silent sister veiled in white and blue
Between the yews, behind the garden god,
Whose flute is breathless, bent her head and signed but spoke
  no word

But the fountain sprang up and the bird sang down
Redeem the time, redeem the dream
The token of the word unheard, unspoken

Till the wind shake a thousand whispers from the yew

And after this our exile


If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word.

    O my people, what have I done unto thee.

Where shall the word be found, where will the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence
Not on the sea or on the islands, not
On the mainland, in the desert or the rain land,
For those who walk in darkness
Both in the day time and in the night time
The right time and the right place are not here
No place of grace for those who avoid the face
No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and
  deny the voice

Will the veiled sister pray for
Those who walk in darkness, who chose thee and oppose thee,
Those who are torn on the horn between season and season,
  time and time, between
Hour and hour, word and word, power and power, those who wait
In darkness? Will the veiled sister pray
For children at the gate
Who will not go away and cannot pray:
Pray for those who chose and oppose

    O my people, what have I done unto thee.

Will the veiled sister between the slender
Yew trees pray for those who offend her
And are terrified and cannot surrender
And affirm before the world and deny between the rocks
In the last desert before the last blue rocks
The desert in the garden the garden in the desert
Of drouth, spitting from the mouth the withered apple-seed.

    O my people.


Although I do not hope to turn again
Although I do not hope
Although I do not hope to turn

Wavering between the profit and the loss
In this brief transit where the dreams cross
The dreamcrossed twilight between birth and dying
(Bless me father) though I do not wish to wish these things
From the wide window towards the granite shore
The white sails still fly seaward, seaward flying
Unbroken wings

And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices
In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices
And the weak spirit quickens to rebel
For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell
Quickens to recover
The cry of quail and the whirling plover
And the blind eye creates
The empty forms between the ivory gates
And smell renews the salt savour of the sandy earth

This is the time of tension between dying and birth
The place of solitude where three dreams cross
Between blue rocks
But when the voices shaken from the yew-tree drift away
Let the other yew be shaken and reply.

Blessèd sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit
  of the garden,
Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will
And even among these rocks
Sister, mother
And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,
Suffer me not to be separated

And let my cry come unto Thee.

Ash Wednesday/Lent – Getting ready for a journey

This is from the blog from the Journey with Jesus Foundation.  Wanted to share for the upcoming Ash Wednesday and Lent Season. I am also going to use Scot Mcknight’s 40 Days Living the Jesus Creed. Have not read his orignal book but think this will be a great Lent study for me. If you would like to join me, can get the book for your Nook or Kindle, and those of you that have iPad also. Read introduction today and looking forward to beginning my journey.  Enjoy the poem and be inspired by the words of Walter Brueggemann (b. 1933)

Marked by Ashes

Ruler of the Night, Guarantor of the day . . .
This day — a gift from you.
This day — like none other you have ever given, or we have ever received.
This Wednesday dazzles us with gift and newness and possibility.
This Wednesday burdens us with the tasks of the day, for we are already halfway home
halfway back to committees and memos,
halfway back to calls and appointments,
halfway on to next Sunday,
halfway back, half frazzled, half expectant,
half turned toward you, half rather not.


This Wednesday is a long way from Ash Wednesday,
but all our Wednesdays are marked by ashes —
we begin this day with that taste of ash in our mouth:
of failed hope and broken promises,
of forgotten children and frightened women,
we ourselves are ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
we can taste our mortality as we roll the ash around on our tongues.


We are able to ponder our ashness with
some confidence, only because our every Wednesday of ashes
anticipates your Easter victory over that dry, flaky taste of death.


On this Wednesday, we submit our ashen way to you —
you Easter parade of newness.
Before the sun sets, take our Wednesday and Easter us,
Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom;
Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth.
Come here and Easter our Wednesday with
mercy and justice and peace and generosity.

We pray as we wait for the Risen One who comes soon.

For over thirty years now, Walter Brueggemann (b. 1933) has combined the best of critical scholarship with love for the local church in service to the kingdom of God. Now a professor emeritus of Old Testament studies at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, Brueggemann has authored over seventy books. Taken from his Prayers for a Privileged People (Nashville: Abingdon, 2008), pp. 27-28.

I am taking a writing workshop!

I started drafting this post yesterday while in a writing workshop for Professional Development for my new job: Elementary Music Teacher!  I am still seeking a pastoral position but still have to pay bills so I got my teaching license renewed and will begin playing with k-2 students! It will be a blast. Ok enough of that – saving for later.

Here is what I wrote before I really got into the workshop:

Ok, I am in a writing workshop to help be a better writer and be consistant in keeping up with this blog. Not writing as much as I would like, keeping a schedule has not been my strongest trait. LOL! So let’s see what I will learn.

Our workshop leader is Clayton Scott(, Poet Laureate of Fayetteville, Arkansas and Poetry Slam Champion of Arkansas. LOVE this guy: likes lots of breaks, long lunch and getting out early!


  • Writing is not about writing but observing what’s around and reflecting on it.
  • In order to teach writing a teacher must be a writer.(had a discussion on this and how we reacted to it)
  • Poets & Writers never die – words are immortal!
  • Leaving a legacy of language
  • Lean back, let it flow, let it go.(love this one – so Jimmy Buffettish)
  • On Writer’s block: Don’t stop writing, keep writing, don’t distrust the muse.
  • It is not about right or wrong but about weak or strong(use of words especially verbs)

He shared his recipe for a yummy poem which is applied to all types of writing. Scott was energetic and engaging.  He recited some of his own stuff and had us to do some writing also. The first excercise was love/hate about being a teacher. He also introduced us to CoCo Harris a fellow classmate from college who is not only a writer but a publisher, of personal journals and memoirs. Had a great discussion on how having a journal leaves your children a legacy that is better than photos. One person shared how much a journal of her grandmother’s meant to her now after her grandmother’s death.

Our last exercise was a streaming of conciousness writing and while we wrote Scott was going to call out words that we then needed to use in our piece. This was way cool for me and each time he called out a word, it was a word I needed at the time in the spot I was completing – freaking awesome! So I want to share that exercise with you(unedited – which he said should be our first draft – just write and then come back to edit. We may write 500 words but only one sentence may be used as a seed for a later work.) The words he called out I put in bold print.

Roaring From Inside of Me

What is it that keeps me from creating the art?  I have the ideas, but I get bogged down in the mire of THINKING. I need to do, make, draw, write.

The stuff is oozing from my pores, orifices, all places of my being. The problem of this oozing is that it has nowhere to go but down my arms, flowing into an abyss of nothing if I don’t get it on paper to remember. Remembering is the key, but I than lose the thunderous passion of the first nuggett of an idea, the seed to express what is happening in the moment it is happening.

Taking the pottery class is helping but not in my other creative areas. Like catfish, the sparks of creativity lie on the bottom of my being, mozing along. I want to awaken the lion, the majestic cat of all cats, raoring with a voice, bringing the challenges to the surface: collage art, print art, song writing, playwriting.

It seems to be too much but when you have the lights and sounds of a carnival-like muse spurring you to places you haven’t tried, you should at least try.

Ideas, words, art popping from the toaster of my brqain and heart like the fudge-filled, chocolate icing poptarts from a morning breakfast waiting to be eaten and enjoyed. Not like the flipchart way – writing it down then quickly moving to the next page.

Broken dreams and ideas become reshaped and mended to relay theinventiveness of the artist, who is me.

How will I do this? How will I keep the passion, the roaring within me going? When I do I will celebrate with the masses what they have given me!


Wow – had alot penned inside of myself and that’s what I want to do with this blog: share, challenge, encourage, empower. With practice I will. So I will be practicing more than I have before. I may share some journal entries from way back – do have one of those journals and it has gotten me thru some tough times. Until next time – PEACE!

What Matters Most to YOU?


Found this book Every Monday Matters by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza.  As I have purused the book, I have decided to create a ETM blog series, Every Tuesday Matters, since I missed getting started on Monday.

Quote: Everyone has the POWER OF GREATNESS.  Not for fame, but greatness. Because greatness is determined by SERVICE. -Dr ML King, Jr.

So from the first make today matter here are some facts:

Average person spends:

  • 100 hrs a yr commuting to work compared to 80 hrs of vacation time.
  • 91 hrs a week at work for dual-career couples with kids
  • 1.8hrs a day doing household activities
  • 2.6 hrs a day watching tv
  • 8.6hrs a day sleeping

WOW! This is alot of time we spend on stuff. And this is a wonderful thought and it has been a part of my life even though I haven’t had these words:Time is a non-renewable resource. Once it’s used up, you can’t get it back.

How many times have we regretted not taking the time to do something like make that phone call to a friend or sending a text of encouragement to a niece or nephew? We use time on things that matter to us: family, friends, prayer life, worship, work, play etc… But is that all? Hmm, I wonder?

So for this week I challenge you:

  • Stop & think…make a list of what matters most
  • Create a list of how you spend your time each week
  • Organize: what is required and what are optional & wastes time
  • Rearrange schedule and reduce optional stuff
  • Spend more time on what matters most
  • Don’t waste time!

Are you up to the challenge? I am going to try. Leave comments on your progress. This is the beginning of something new!

Time spent on what matters most is never a waste of time.

Community – can’t live without but they can drive you crazy!

This weekend is our presentation of a play we have been working on for WEEKS! Even though it feels like months. It has been a roller coaster ride. Of the original cast of 12, 8 survived and another was added not in the original 12. So nine people have been in each others’ lives for a while and that can be nerve racking. Especially when some don’t show up for rehearsal or late to rehearsal driving you nuts waiting for them or covering for them because they said they would be there in 10 minutes and it takes them 35!

Kinda like a family: there is always something going on to throw a monkey wrench in the mix and who knows what they are thinking keeping dinner waiting and they mosy(is that the correct spelling?) in like nothing is wrong and they knew you were waiting on them.  Ugh!!!

I think God understands this also: always waiting for us to acknowledge that we are not keeping track of time NOT spent him.  God knows our heart, yes but God still wants us to be on time with our prayer life, our worship life and out missional life.  We have responsibilities as Christians that we don’t take seriously enough, like my fellow actors, being a little disrespectful to him and others that need us to give our full attention.  Keeping our promises, our covenants with one another as well as to God.

Here something to think about, ponder over: what if Jesus had the same attitude we have?  What if he was late for passover, thus throwing the whole scheme off? Getting to the garden a little late and the soldiers got tired of waiting to arrest him and thus putting the whole timing off? Or Jesus just plainly said to his Father, “Man I am not going to do this, I don’t want to now!” What if?

So are you a follower that has your own set of standards or are you holding to the standard Christ has set for us? Thank about it-