Dust thou art.
Today is the day that many Christians put ashes on our foreheads to remember our mortality. To remind ourselves and each other that we live in a broken world and we, ourselves, are part of that brokenness.
On this day, we wear ashes, and we talk about dust, two things that on all other days we sweep up, wipe off, discard.
Remember that thou art dust.
This humble stuff, this grit underfoot.
We are dust, and our world is broken, but we are not alone in the dust and ashes. God remains our partner in the ongoing process of creation.
Today, oddly this year, is also Valentine's Day, when most Americans celebrate love.
Pablo Neruda's "Ode to My Socks" is always and ever my favorite love poem, but it seems a particularly fitting one for today's confluences of love and ashes, of the divine and the quotidian.
The /I/ of this poem recognizes the powerful magic of an everyday, humble object created with love.
I slipped my feet
as though into
with threads of
He resists the temptation to preserve the gift, to put it away, to protect the magic from the hardships of everyday use. Instead,
Like explorersToday, remember that thou art dust, but also that thou art love.
in the jungle who hand
over the very rare
to the spit
and eat it
I stretched out
and pulled on
and then my shoes.