Ash Wednesday Reflection

In order to rise from its own ashes
A phoenix first must burn.
― Octavia Butler, Parable of the Talents

You have risen from the ashes before.
The only way to survive … is to believe you always will.
― Samantha Shannon, The Song Rising


What I Did With Your Ashes (excerpts)— Amy Gerstler
  … Remarked to your box:
“REINCARNATION comes from roots
meaning ‘to be made flesh again.'”  
Stowed your box under my bed for a week
to seed dreams in which you advise me. (This didn’t work.)  
Opened the Babylonian Talmud at random.
Read aloud to your gritty, gray-white powder:
“There are three keys which the Holy One, blessed be
He, has not entrusted into the hands of any messenger.
These are: the key of rain, the key of birth,
and the key of the resurrection of the dead.”

The Ashes — Karin Gottshall
You were carried here by hands
and now the wind has you, gritty as incense, dark sparkles borne  
in the shape of blowing, this great atmospheric bloom,
spinning under the bridge and expanding—  
shape of wind and its pattern of shattering.
Having sloughed off the urn’s temporary shape,  
there is another of you now—
tell me which to speak to: the one you were, or are, the one who waited  
in the ashes for this scattering,
or the one now added to the already haunted woods,
the woods that sigh and shift their leaves—  
where your mystery billows, then breathes.

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