09 March 2010

a poem for lent, and other things

One of the sponsors from my RCIA group gave the group of us catechumens and candidates (those converts who are already baptized) a Lenten devotional book as a gift. I admit, I've omitted reading this more days than I've engaged with it, but I have found a lot of treasure there.

The following poem by Rita A. Simmonds, graces the inside cover. This one gets me in the gut.


It was just yesterday
when the sun rose
on the memory of things
broken, trashed
and carried away,
and I had to ask
if I could still love
what couldn't last,
if there was
something other than forgetfulness
for devastating loss,
if there was someone who could save
my heart from fraud.

And I remembered the Man
who loved to the point of absurdity:
Whose side held a lance
till all the blood and water
that waited could let go.

Real love has hung and died,
and must be carried
with panting and heavy sighs
to a cold place
where stone walls
reinforce the definitiveness
of the end.

But the true nature
of love
is human,
so it waits,
and divine,
so it rises
and lives again.

Let nothing
dam the flow of breaking love.

* * * * *

A few other random smatterings from my life:
First of all, I apologize. My life right now is all about what my body is doing and how it is adjusting to pregnancy. You might not particularly care about or want to know about the truths I list below, but this is my reality.

* I'm still dealing with nausea on a regular basis. Sadly, it doesn't confine itself to a particular block of time during the day, but lasts all day, getting particularly bad at night.
* Thinking about my prenatal vitamins, imagining them, getting a whiff of them, or being anywhere in proximity to them makes the point above particularly bad. Eww.
* I'm sleeping well, that is ... when I'm not getting up every hour and a half to use the bathroom.
* Next midwife appointment is tomorrow!!
* My latest craving? Cottage cheese and pickles. And not just any pickles mind you: I want Claussen Dill spears. Oh, yes.

And speaking of Lent ...
During the season of Lent, those in the process of conversion (such as myself) are going through a season called the Scrutinies, which aren't nearly as scary as they sound (trust me, it's nothing at all like the Spanish Inquisition). Basically, it's an opportunity to reflect more deeply on the steps we're taking and the commitment we're preparing to make to the Church. As such, I've been writing a lot more on my own and am thinking about posting in a series format what led to this decision. It will be good for me to recall and articulate those things that brought me to this place, and it just might prove helpful for someone someday who is considering taking the same steps.

A question for you:
Are you engaging in a particular devotion or fast for Lent? If so, what is it and how is it working for you?


  1. So fun to get these little tidbits from your life ... the sacred profundities of the poem shared, the lighthearted reference to Claussen's pickles, the consideration of Lent.

    I'm looking forward to reading your series, for sure!

    As for practicing Lent, I chose to fast from worry. However, just last night I was laying in bed and realizing how much I have worried these past couple weeks. A LOT.

    Seems I lost sight of my Lenten fast somewhere along the way. But each day (in fact, each moment!) is an opportunity to choose it, and choose it again.

  2. I'm looking forward to reading your series, too!
    I gave up TV and DVDs for Lent. It's not easy, especially when you just want to crash on the couch and zone out, but it's really good for me. Might do it again next year.
    Also we are reading this book on silence in my church. Goes along well with the no-TV-part.

  3. thank for still writing amidst the nausea and exhaustion,as it is still a joy to read your words. i always love to watch the movie "chocolat" with juliette binoche during lent; to me it portrays the beautiful grace we as the church so desperately need. i have a lenten devotional called "bread and wine", and the poem "to keep a true lent" by robert herrick spoke to me once again this year. blessings as you experience the wonder and pain of carrying a little life within you. i hope your all-day morning sickness ends soon! -beth

  4. Well, I can't help with the nausea, but I might be able to with the prenatals.

    Bloomen. Chewable prenatals. I know, it's such a weird concept, but when I was pregnant, I had the same reaction to my prenatals, so I wound up taking Flintstone vitamins. I never had much nausea, but I just couldn't stomach the horse pills I guess. Anyway, it turned out that Flintstones were too high in Vitamin A (oops), but my OB then turned me on to Bloomen. I just started taking them (I've been taking prenatals while nursing and trying to conceive) and I'm not pregnant, so I don't know what it'll be like when I am, but anyway, it might be worth a shot?

    Okay, that's it, off my podium now.

    Alright, I lied. I also think it's pretty neat that you have a pregnancy counter up there that mentions what is going on developmentally. Because, IRISES, REALLY? Your baby is developing its irises? HOW COOL IS THAT?!

    Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com

  5. kristin i am glad to have found your corner.

    i hope those hectic highs and lows of the first few months of pregnancy are passing and that you are enjoying the growth within you?

    we would like to include a short bio about you on the staff page over at HCB because you are a contributing artist.

    would you mind sending this through to me at burge{dot}claire{at}gmail{dot}com?