Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ashes

I wasn't going to do an Ash Wednesday post. Spiritual musings that follow a liturgical calendar nearly always feel forced to me -- much like those newspaper columns you see about Thanksgiving recipes and Christmas memories from years past. But as a lapsed Episcopalian (how the hell did I manage that?) the day still holds some pull. These days I am skeptical of any message coming from organized religion telling us to Feel More Guilt -- smacks of atonement theology to me. Still, I find the ritual of Ash Wednesday beautiful.

"From dust you came, and to dust you shall return," the priest intones, as he or she daubs each person's forehead with a cross of ashes (made from the remains of last year's Palm Sunday palms.)

I have always been moved by that honesty, that starkness. Whether devout Christian or atheist, death is one thing we can all agree on. We are going to die. Our time is limited.

We don't get a do-over. Our choices matter.

Whether or not you believe there is a life after this one, let's make what time we have count...


Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's Time

It's been a little over a year since I finished the fist draft of the manuscript. Since then, the project has mostly lain dormant. Sure, I've sent out a handful of queries to agents and publishers, but nothing like the degree of effort I put into actually researching and writing the book.

Part of that is because I have been going through major life change (divorce, career change, move to a different state) but a lot of it was because I just wasn't ready to face the project again. Among other things, I was angry at God -- more on that another time.

This past year was an experience like no other. I think I am through the worst of it. But I guess we never know. All I know for sure is that I right now have the opportunity to return to Southern Cross and make it better, and I am not sure when the next such opportunity will arise. So I'm going to take it and run...