We will wash our hands again and again ~ A Poem

ZPI encourages reflections from retreat participants, staff, members & others touched by our work and doing similar work from around the world, as part of the practice of bearing witness. Our friend Ann Ehringhaus, artist & bodyworker living on Ocracoke Island in Carrboro, North Carolina, USA shares her personal poem in reflection of the current time that we are collectively experiencing across the globe.

We will wash our hands again and again 

as the whole world is washing too.

Is this some kind of mass ablution,

this cleansing with water?

I will say I’m sorry every time I wash: 

I’m sorry for any pain or suffering I 

have brought to anyone in my life,

sorry for any pain my ancestors brought,

sorry for misunderstandings of all sorts,

where we were not able to see each other

with any gentleness for healing.

My pains are not your pains, or maybe

sometimes they are. Maybe they always are. 

Washing, washing, giving thanks for

the power of Water to bless our losses.

Where to put our waste, chemicals, 

grime and pollution of words and nature? 

I’m washing my hands again with sorrow

for all mistreatment of women, men, children,

animals, of love and sex, of all harm to sacred. 

And now I’m washing for love and for our earth .

Could this be a spiritual moment?      

 3.14.20  ann ehringhaus

About the Author:

Ann Ehringhaus is a artist, photographer, poet, & soul-centered bodyworker living on Ocracoke Island, in Carrboro, North Carolina.  Ann’s first encounter with Zen Peacemakers Bearing Witness practice was in 1996 at the Aushwitz-Birkenau, that she describes as a “very pivotal moment” and “nothing was ever the same for me after that.” Currently Ann is practicing as a Reiki Teacher and an interfaith minister, and engaging in the  Infinite Circle online study group with Brian Joshin Byrnes in the Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community in Vermont, USA

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We will wash our hands again and again ~ A Poem

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