Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (Psalm 51:7 KJV)
Little zingers. Proverbs. One-liners. Concise statements catch my attention, like this groovy lawn ornament I couldn’t help but notice today. Unforgettable.
One word or thought can keep me occupied for hours.
I was pondering snow today, after reading Dawn’s prompt on the topic. At first, I was a little depressed because our forecast has not a trace predicted for this Christmas.
(Before I go any further, I do want to mention that “con-” words could be considered cousins to “com-” words. There’s a whole family of prefixes that translate into “with.” “Col-” and “co-” are the other two relatives. Just in case there was any confusion about why I might be going down this rabbit trail with concise.)
Concise means with few words, and literally means to cut up, like into smaller portions. Right from the start I’d like to apologize for my verbosity in explaining all of this, because I really am trying to use as few words as possible. Not because it is necessary, but because I like to challenge myself to be concise. Being concise can take courage. Sometimes I have the false belief that the more words I use, the better it will be for others to comprehend what I am conveying in words. But actually using more words, often complicates the situation leaving the audience buried under an avalanche of ideas.
Now if you are still with me, and wondering how any of this fits together, let me remind you that it all started with the word snow. Snow and how it can bring to mind so many memories, feelings and hopes, and even songs, like “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas . . .” or “Walking in a winter wonderland . . .” and other such sentiments.
What is it about snow that evokes such awe and desire?
Snow often brings to mind the famous cry of David:
“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” (Psalm 51:7 NIV)
After it snows, a fresh blanket of white covers the earth, softening the barren winter landscape. Snow transforms, just like forgiveness. These are the kind of thoughts that run randomly through my mind when I think of snow.
One way that I like to explore a word is to make it into an acronym. This practice of using each letter of a word or phrase as the spine for my poetic expression becomes a sort of playful and sometimes even serious, searching prayer.
I leave you with some short words and their poetic pairings to contemplate.
Oustide and in:
I was in a funk today, before I started journaling and pondering snow. Sometimes when I feel this way, I start denying myself the simple pleasures of life, which seems like an odd way to combat a depressed mood. So, I start trying various things to cajole myself out of it. Today, while I was walking around the block to shake off the doldrums, two words sparred with each other. Deny and Rely.
Do not touch.
No need to mention your needs.
“You don’t matter.”
Do not taste.
Do not treasure–
Yield to nothing!
Let go–be still–
Yield . . .
And one more about a snow laden memory from childhood:
Soared down the
Nearby hill with stars
Over our heads.