I love the rhythm of this poem, which feels to me something like the wind, buffeting the poet and the reader in all directions. Which, for me, has a connection to the theme of wearing different masks, picked up in the commentary.
At this time of year I often feel pulled in many directions – church, family, friends, ministry, shopping and cooking, sermon writing, wrapping, laundry, liturgy… I’m sure the feeling is familiar to many. And sometimes that leads to me swapping between different ‘masks’ – of home and church, guest and host, partner, daughter, auntie, cousin, sister, friend… Not that I am trying to hide anything, but I know I am a quite different version of myself with different people. Not only with family vs parishioners, but also with my Mum’s side of the family vs my Dad’s, with my cousins and siblings vs our parents’ generation, with friends and chosen family vs my birth family or in-laws.
All of us have so many different ‘masks’ we wear, and I no longer think (as I once might have) that to do so is any failure or lack of integrity. Rather, it is one of the ways in which we respond to different people and situations with care, attention and sensitivity. But it is so important that we take time to know – and always to remember that God knows – who we are under all the masks.
This year for #AdventBookClub a group of us are reading “In The Bleak Midwinter” by Rachel Mann. Join us on Facebook or Twitter for daily reflections and discussions. We are also raising money for the Trussell Trust: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/adventbookclub2019.