March 01, 2006

Ash Wednesday

Hey, it's Ash Wednesday (or alternately)

Having stood on a Catholic altar more than a few times in my life, the appropriate verbiage for today is imprinted on my brain "Remember, man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return" - usually mumbled incoherently but once in a while you get a priest with crisp diction and a certain drag queen attitude who says it like he means it.

I always like Ash Wednesday, conceptually. Kind of like Gay Pride day for catholics, who were out of the closet for one day - and it provided an opportunity to consider one's mortality.

But in truth, its sort of a nihilist sentiment. You came from dust, you return to dust. Nothing matters. Do whatever you want. I know the official catholic teaching deals with issues of soul and eternity but it all seems rather disjointed.

I much prefer the concept that I am a creature energy and light, and that my body is a garment I wear for some years. My body may return to dust, but I return to the light.

Maybe we should smear glitter on our foreheads and say "Remember that you are a creature of divine light and beauty, and you will return to the source of light and beauty when you shed your garment of flesh and dust"

Oh, and scientifically, since our bodies are more than 50% water, maybe it would be more accurate to use holy water instead of ashes. "Remember, man, that you are water, and unto water you shall return"

I'm going to hell. Sorry mom.

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