I used to walk around with it on my forehead on this annual ashy Wednesday. Rituals are important, I still believe. It’s just that these days I believe in different kinds of rituals, ones that are created to empower, not depress.
Today, though, as I walk around attached to a heart monitor, I am confronted by coincidentally timed reminders of the fragility of my mortality.
It’s Ash Wednesday and my mortal coil seems to be “sproinging.”
I have a theory about where these symptoms are coming from, and I don’t believe they start in my heart, although that is where they wind up. I wish there were a Dr. House in the house who would sleuth his way through the electrical impulses of my body to shine his light on the first cause.
But this little picture works the same way as the big picture: we might never know the first cause, so we just keep examining each clue, each symptom, eliminating possibilities, one by one, until we get to the point of it all.
And, all in all, the only point might be that we are, after all, only the beginnings of ashes and dust.