Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Ashes to Concrete

Last year, as I left work to go to Ash Wednesday service, I stopped to enjoy the sunset, which seemed a fitting beginning to Ash Wednesday service:

But then I noticed the crane being framed by the window of the parking garage and backlit by the sunset. 

Later, I captured this shot, which shows the glittering towers of Ft. Lauderdale in the background, a parking garage in the foreground:

The ever encroaching march of concrete strikes me as an apt metaphor for Ash Wednesday too.  It's not the traditional way we think of the term "dust to dust," but it fits.  It reminds me of this picture from an earlier Ash Wednesday:

We smear the ashes and then count the money--these are tasks that must be done, even though in the end, it may all seem futile.  We all end up here, planted in the earth:

I tend to think of Ash Wednesday metaphors in terms of what is decomposing:  stars, bodies, all sorts of biological matter.  But decomposing takes many forms:

Today, many of us will feel the ashes from last year's palms smeared on our foreheads:

But how many of us truly pause to see what it all means?

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