Kickin’ Some Ash

I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school, was an altar boy, got buzzed on sacramental wine, and even got a chance to leaf through a priest’s Playboy magazine while he looked on. That last one sounds worse than it was. There were lots of us young boys he let look at it. Okay, that sounds even worse. Nothing happened to me, except for being exposed to soft-core porn at a young age, which I wanted.

Anyway, getting ashes for Ash Wednesday was always a big deal when I was a kid. It was the one day I was allowed to go around with a dirty face. These days I’m technically a member of the Lutheran church, although also an ordained Dudeist minister, and really consider myself more of a Spiritual Humanist. Suffice to say that I am conflicted when it comes to religion, but not to faith. Hey, that’s kinda’ deep. This dude abides with deep thoughts.

I had no thought of getting ashes for Ash Wednesday yesterday. I didn’t even know it was Ash Wednesday until I saw some cable news guests with ashes on their foreheads.

ash cable

No matter how hard I tried, I didn’t hear a thing they said. I just kept staring at the ashes, wondering why they didn’t wash before going on TV. I was fascinated by the diversity of the ashes. There was the bold …

ash large

That definitely says, “I’m Catholic. Fight me.” There was also the sloppy …

ash careless

That says, “I’ve lost the will to care about my appearance.” Thanks to Twitter, I spotted this handy guide to use to interpret the ashes.

ash guide

Thanks @BillDonaghy. I think I could have gotten ashes at my Lutheran church. It’s sort of Catholic-lite. But I declined. I decided to let others kick some ash yesterday on their Ash Wednesday while I kicked the ash habit on my Clean Pore Wednesday.