Lent 37

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You always forfeit your right to be regal, and tinge everything with humour and sweet humility, as though to show us how wrong we are about everything. No Arabian stallion for you, but a small, stocky donkey, one such as your mother rode that fateful night. No gold and lilies, but palm branches, green and thrown down, life ready to be trampled. Every thorn bush you pass reminds you of the crown you will soon wear for us.

Art and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2018

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Lent 36

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You are soft as velvet one moment, and all teeth and talons the next. I cannot tell when we shall see the dove or the eagle, or what will cause the lion to bare his teeth and snarl. Hypocrites seem to do it, or those calling themselves pure and righteous in your sight, when you said that not even you are good, but only the Father. Changeable face, unchanging heart, giving each exactly what is needed.

Art and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2018

Lent 35

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All is twisted in your kingdom and in your words. Everything you say challenges what I thought I knew. Certainties not just turned on their heads, but held upside down and shaken until every last coin falls out of their pockets.  Your mysterious ways make me dizzy, and your new ways of weaving things together creates patterns unfamiliar to my incredulous eyes.

Art and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2018

Lent 34

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Happy is a word that rarely belongs here in the roar of the storm, in the eye of the hurricane. Can we, then, be content? With all that racket and all that spume? The salt water constantly crashing up into our eyes and ears? Perhaps not. But neither can we sit here on this surface and be bobbed about so furiously and hold onto anything, not faith, and certainly not our breakfast. So what may be done, and what peace may be found? The temptation is surely to dive into the water and drown our sorrows, falling into the deep sleep of silent waters. And yet you say, we may sleep here in the stern, curled up in cushions and coats, oblivious, and let you take the rudder. The answer then, is not peace, but trust.

Art and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2018 (“Wake,” in pastels, using a reference photo by Cindy Frendt with kind permission)

Lent 33

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Gifts from the sea are boiled or battered, carved or scraped, hung out to dry in the sun, or bleached on racks. Only the pearl is allowed to retain its shape, and must not be opened up, smashed, cooked, consumed, but instead, valued, held, set in gold.  What makes this globule of oozed protection precious?

Learning from oysters, perhaps we might see that the real beauty of the prize is the transformation of what pollutes us, the redemption of irritants, and that the glow of the pearl is not of this world, but is transfiguration.

Photo and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2018

Lent 32

 

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Time then, to take stock of the value of things. What means more to your aching heart? The rough touch of tree bark, cracked and ancient, carved by the trample of a million ant feet and the sporadic chewing of glisten-eyed deer? Or the place on the ladder you have worked so hard and so long to reach? Which foothold is more solid? Isn’t it better to be near the ground, feet on God’s good earth, than with your head in man-made clouds that blind you to the true nature of things? I love you so much, I will let you decide.

 

Art and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2018

Lent 31

 

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Outside the city gates we stand, walking on paths made of eggshells, crushed and broken like us: the remnants of things thrown. Talking in whispers no more but keening madly, for no-one is listening anyway, and we can say what we like. There is no further punishment that they can visit on us, sitting in their ivory towers and casting breadcrusts onto the wind, knowing we cannot afford to despise their tithing. We are already lower than the dust and we have the gift of lack, which teaches us all we need to know.

Art and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2018

Lent 30

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The tables are set, and all is laid out in bounteous splendour.  Who is invited? I wonder if the great and the powerful will mind sitting underneath, cross-legged and catching crumbs, the hors d’oeuvres made for the humble and the hoi polloi tucking into canapes all around them. Perhaps we should all take turns and become once more like little children, giggling in our draped dens, the adults carrying on above, and then all of us understanding a little better when the music begins again and we move around.

Art and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2018

Lent 29

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A pearl is all swirling softness, nacreous light. Where does it belong? Will you try to flatten or mould it, bending it out of shape until it shatters, like an ugly sister forcing on a glass slipper? Or will you allow it to have its curves and its lunar mimicry, and listen to its wisdom song of beauty made from irritants and toxins?

Art and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2018

Lent 28

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Change is always longed for, and never stillness. Yet does the seed shift restlessly in its place, crammed all around by loam? Does it yearn to dance and long to give voice to its being? Or does it wait, drinking in silence and immobility, swaddled by soil and held by the earth. It knows this dark womb is working its deep and loyal magic, and that spring may not be hurried.

Photo and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2018