Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ash Wednesday - Sweet Relief

"Isn't it crazy to think that the minute we are born we start dying, " I said to my 18 year old son.  Without hesitating, he replied, "Yes, but we are also living."  My kids are used to me winging out all kinds of statements. That moment was no exception.  And it pretty sums up Ash Wednesday for me. There is a raw honesty to the words that perfectly describe my body's fragility and the gratitude to be breathing today.  My nursing and pastoral work means I've seen a lot of death. My loss of two fathers brings the grief close to home.  I said to my daughter recently that if we knew we were dying tomorrow the beauty of today would look really different.  She said (with patient affection), "Mom, it's so you to say that kind of thing."

The things that I tell my kids spout out randomly.  It's like me trying to figure out how to live in those realities but feeling so far from being able to it.  Ash Wednesday frees me up just a little.  I'm reminded that the reality of utter dependence and lack of control is true.  It's not something to figure out or live into.  It just, simply, IS.  So today I'll hear the words and receive the ashes as gift and reminder that control is an illusion.  

There's this great sound and feeling when the ashes are put on my forehead. I can feel the grit and hear the sound. It's earthy and stark. It's the paradox of dying while living and living while dying - time bending to expand.  It's sweet relief from striving, from lack of discipline, from the mess of life, while acknowledging the beauty of it. 

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

1 comment:

  1. Enough with fruit: the best thing to plant in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a money tree. The money tree is an old series trick that people have been experimenting with since the game launched, Animal Crossing Bells and now we’ve got a bit more information about how the whole thing works, so read on for everything you need to know about money trees in the game.

    First the basics: you plant a money tree by finding the glowing spot on the ground that shows up once per day on the island. Dig it up to find some bells, but also a glowing hole: do not fill the hole in. Instead, go select the bells at the bottom of your inventory and pull some out. With the shovel still equipped, select the bells in your inventory and select “bury in hole”. You’ll see a little sprout that will grow into a money tree a few days later. It will only yield one round of bells: after that it reverts to being a standard hardwood tree.

    At first, it seemed like 10,ooo was the largest number of bells that you could plant in the hole and see a 3X return: a fully-grown money tree yields three bags of bells, each with the amount you put in to begin with. After a patch, however, there are reports of people getting the full 3X return out of the 99,000 money tree:As the post notes, 99,000 is not a reliable investment. I’ve tried it three times and gotten only 30,oo0 out of my tree, meaning that I’m losing 69,000 each time. That’s not such a large sample size, however, and it does appear that a 99,000 tree is entirely possible. The real question is this: is the likelihood of getting a 99,000 money tree enough to offset the risk of losing it? At 50% odds, it would still be worth it to plant. At At 33% odds it would still be worth it, but just barely. Below that and it makes more sense to plant a 10,ooo tree.


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