Into the Dust I shall Return
It's LENT and unlike all other seasons of Lent that I've experienced in my life, I actually want this one to make sense. I actually want this one to work. I want it to be more than a "family affair" that I feel "dragged into". I want it to be about real reflection and pondering. I want it to be about transformation. And not just those periodical transformations because it's such a fad or "I feel like it". I want a real one. One that will and can stick for good.
Transformation is such a heavy word. I think about the things I have to change at work, home life, ministry. There are so many, I have to shamefully admit. Not to mention my eating habits. I was telling myself this morning that I will skip the morning break and not drink coffee because I want to try fasting. I failed. I ended up eating an egg sandwich. Transformation costs something. I need to eventually learn how to pay that price.
|i wish i can learn how to fast|
For the past few days I haven't been feeling so up to anything because of the things I'm trying to sort out in my life. Reading Etty Hillesum's diary has given me much perspective. Most of the time, I resonate with her because it's exactly what I want to say. Albeit the loss of words. I hope my mind digs into it and does not forget there was a soul in this world who thought similar to me. Most of the time I struggle with feeling oddly different from most people. It's burdensome to often have to think, "Can they actually relate to me? Or are they just being nice?"
There is nothing else for it, I shall have to solve my own problems. I always get the feeling that when I solve them for myself I shall have also solved them for a thousand other women. For that very reason, I must come to grips with myself.
All this devouring of books from early youth has been nothing but laziness on my part. I allow others to formulate what I ought to be formulating myself. I keep seeking outside confirmation of what is hidden deep inside me, when I know that I can only reach clarity by using my own words. I really must abandon all that laziness, and particularly my inhibitions and insecurity, if I am ever to find myself, and through myself, find others. I must have clarity, and I must learn to accept myself. Everything feels so heavy inside me, and I want so much to feel light. For years I have bottled everything up, it all goes into some great reservoir, but it will have to come out again, or I shall know that I have lived in vain, that I have taken from mankind and given nothing back. I sometimes feel I am a parasite and that depresses me and makes me wonder if I lead any kind of useful life.
Perhaps my purpose in life is to come to grips with myself, properly to grips with myself, with everything that bothers and tortures me and clamors for inner solution and formulation. For these problems are not just mind alone. And if at the end of a long life I am able to give some form to the chaos inside me, I may well have fulfilled my own small purpose.
I'm haunted by the word transformation and how Etty transformed her life imprisoned in the concentration camps at Auschwitz. In the priest's homily today he reminded us again that change needs to happen from the inside out. The ashes on our foreheads remind us that we are reduced like the palms that have been burnt to produce the ash. Reduced into dust.
"Let us remember that we are from dust and unto dust we shall return..."