Teach Us To Sit Still.

Today is Ash Wednesday and nothing is more fitting than to share with you the poem of T.S. Eliot’s long poem “Ash Wednesday” written in 1927.

The last three lines of this stanza struck me personally.

Ash Wednesday by T. S. Eliot


Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man’s gift and that man’s scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Because I do not hope to know again
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again

Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessed face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

Sit Still

Teach us to sit still.  This is exactly what I need for the next 40 days to re-learn how to sit still again. I have fallen out of habit on reflecting, meditating, and focusing my attention to the ritual of Lent. It is a time of praying and fasting. I may have done a little bit of the ritual last year but my heart wasn’t in it. Fortunately, it’s a lifetime process and I can do it all over again even though it’s not lent.

The last two lines “Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death,” reminded me of the time when I was meditating on the Hail Mary prayer. I skipped this part because I truly believe that I did not need someone praying for me, I did not believe that I am a sinner and I was young then far from death.

I am now in the autumn of my life, imperfect human being, full of ego, and have hurt other people in the process. As I recited the Hail Mary repeatedly, this is where the mystery lies on prayer and meditation, when one day I came to a full realization that I do need prayers, I am a sinner and I will die.

Just like Eliot, as I thrash and flux in a life of restlessness, I will continue to pray to God to have mercy on me.

In Love With Love


Photograph by Adam Harnett/Carters News Agency

Puppy Love: Nettle, a mother dog, never worried when she needed a break from her pups. A chicken named Mabel was happy to take over as surrogate mom. Brought to live inside a farmhouse in England after a horse stepped on her foot, Mabel would fluff up her feathers, plop down on top of her brood of pups, and tuck them under her body as if they were chicks.

Horses during courtship, mature stallions and mares sniff, nuzzle, nicker, and even nip at each other.

Pigs, which have been living side by side with humans for some 9,000 years, cooperate in social groups known as sounders.

* National Geographic ~True Love: Surprising Photos of Animal Affection.


And finally, because we ask this in every interview: why write? 

 black bird
  • Write because you want to communicate with yourself.
  • Write because you want to communicate with someone else.
  • Write because life is weird and tragic and amazing.
  • Write because talking is difficult.
  • Write because it polishes the heart.
  • Write because you can.
  • Write because you can’t.
  • Write because you’re trying to figure yourself out.
  • Write because you might not ever figure yourself out.
  • Write because there still aren’t enough love poems in the world.
  • Write because there is a blackbird outside of my window right now and oh my god isn’t that the best start to the day?

Source: BANANGO LIT on Dalton Day Interview

Love is in the air

YourShot NatGeo Photograph by AbdulQader AlAni

YourShot NatGeo Photograph by AbdulQader AlAni

A male camel waiting for a female on the main road. When I approach the female, I heard a sound from the male and the female goes to him. So lovely.

Fade out ……

Finally, Caleb found his true love, quit his job as the star of hump day and they live happily ever after.

*AbdulQader AlAni, photographer