1:00 am. I lay in bed, continually unclenching my jaw, rubbing the shoulder where the ache in the nerve from jaw and neck ended up, awake.
I had not expected to be so shaken up by the experience of shaving my head - of challenging myself to enter the stories, actually respond, and take on considerable cost to do so.
9:30 am. I awake, having fallen eventually away from the thoughts and emotions for a blissful seven hours.
Tai chi, centring prayer practice, skip breakfast and go straight to lunch. Blog last night's experience. Sit in a daze, or perhaps in contemplative reflection, for the rest of the day.
Affirmations continue to flow in: a congregation member is inspired by my courage to find courage of her own and let go of something she wants out of her life. Facebook 'likes' and blog comments of thanks for the link to the blog post, comments that celebrate my courage and motivations. A message to encourage me in this wilderness experience.
If Lent is about acknowledging our humanity - pointedly, our mortality - then the vulnerability I feel is a natural experience, and one we tend to avoid as we avoid the reality of death.
If Lent is about acknowledging our humanity, the renewing of connectedness with my communities is an enlivening of our humanity - for we are fully human together.
If Lent is about acknowledging our humanity - and the costliness of humanity's life in a way of Love not fear - here I am, turning my face back towards the God of Love in shaking, tenuous trust.