Saturday, February 19, 2011

Presence of the Mind

Ash Wednesday is March 8. I'm keeping that in mind because I don't want to be "surprised" by the beginning of the Lenten season, again. Some weeks back I wrote here that I no longer made New Year's Resolution, but was looking for a focus. Since then, one theme has surfaced through the blur and become persistent, even taking on some urgency: the practice of the presence of mind. My mind, that is, which as I write, is hardly here.

It will start with smallish things: remembering to take school supplies out of the trunk, those I won't need in next 6 months; filling out the check for the Sunday collection, PRIOR TO arriving at the pew; placing the Wal-mart bags for recycle next to the shopping list; writing down return dates for library books; before leaving a classroom for another, collect all the supplies, ALONG with coat, scarf, and car key...And on, and on.

There you get an impression of how I've treated things "too small" to be placed in my oversized head. You would think that when it comes to things big and weighty enough for my ego, I'd clean my mental house to make room for their presence: reading, art, meditation, prayer, beloved KDM... all things kindred and indispensable.

You would think.

The fact is, my "mental house," my head, is too cluttered. My mind is too scattered to be present to too many things. It's time to un-clutter, un-wind, turn away from diversions and distractions alike, set my house back in order. When March 8 is here, and ash is smeared on my forehead, my mushy scull will be ready for the forty days of humility and clarity.

Our Lady, put in good words for me.

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