Lent begins today, Ash Wednesday, 17 February 2010. Below is a short selection of Lenten resources and reflections that may be a little different, inspiring, jarring:
Beach Tweets (St. Max’s) : “a group of people will be taking it in turns to write a reflection in the sand on the south shore beach in Bridlington [East Yorkshire, UK]. … Each day the words will be washed away by the tide reflecting the ebb and flow of our own journeys.” Follow along on Twitter.
This poem of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s (via Livingroom, 2006):
Upon this age, that never speaks its mind,
This furtive age, this age endowed with power
To wake the moon with footsteps, fit an oar
Into the rowlocks of the wind, and find
What swims before his prow, what swirls behind –
Upon this gifted age, in its dark hour,
Rains from the sky a meteoric shower
Of facts…they lie unquestioned, uncombined.
Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill
Is daily spun; but there exists no loom
To weave it into fabric.
Cheryl at [hold this space] (Victoria, Australia) has some simple ideas for participating in Lent, on a theme of unanswered questions … A writing/art activity in which you can write “things you need to say, for which you want no answer”; simple communion; cairn-making; writing your fear and doubt into dirt, then, if you want, cleaning your hands in water.
This poem, The Essence of Ritual, by the Sufi poet Rumi:
Pray the Prayer that is the essence
of every ritual. God, I have no hope.
I am torn to shreds. You are my first,
my last and only refuge.
Do not do daily prayers like a bird
pecking its head up and down.
Prayer is an egg.
the total helplessness inside.
jonnybaker’s blog entries about Lent, a combination of links to others’ ideas and some resources from his group, grace, from 2010 and past years. Includes grace lent blogs from 2008 (themes: Temptation, Wilderness, Journey, and Turning point/Transformation) , 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 (including this entry: “sorry i missed my day there — Yesterday I had no internet. Today my divorce was finalized. Not in the mood to blog. Happy lent and all that.”) and 2003. Because they’re blogs, you have to start at the end of each to start at the beginning.
The practice of tonglen, giving and receiving with the breath. Yes, it’s Buddhist, and it’s a good practice for Lent. I breathe in dis-ease and breathe out ease. I breathe in tightness and breathe out lightness. I breathe in death and breathe out life. I breathe in what I know and breathe out what I don’t know.
give up, give out lent blog 2009, with thoughts, images and actions to ‘give out.’