Last night I dreamt I was in a bar in Toronto with the pianist. I was served a poorly dressed pizza by a server dressed scanty. The pizza also had a thin brush of something resembling cheese with a single tiny tomato on top. The server offered to speak to my psychiatrist and my realtor for two sawbucks. I had to eat the pizza by hand and no serviette was offered. If I try to think of my life between the dusts, the glare of this metropolitan nonsense gives no immediate clue. Carl Jung where are you?
I was out of my element. Toronto is transit for me. It was hard to reconcile "of nature" in the city and contemplation with my preparation for Ash Wednesday, and the joy of my life between the dusts when I drew my being from the earth and joined the tree, the pansy and the feathered and furry friends and mankind of every ilk as part of the carboniferous earth. It is enough for me now. If there is more my curiosity is piqued to wait and see. Oil and ash and a crucifix on my forehead gives me hope.
Carl Sandburg may have written the lament about dust in his Chicago poem Limited but he was young. It's too easy to pigeonhole people. Still I see it in the light of Ash Wednesday though he certainly doesn't say it. The ashes and the poem are worth forty days. You have to have your own ashes to last you forty days and they will remind you of your own shortcomings. Here is a mix of hope and lament at the beginning of Lent. It won't make you feel good.
"I am riding on a limited express, one of the crack trains of the nation.
Hurtling across the prairie into the blue haze and dark air
Go fifteen all steel coaches holding a thousand people.
(All the coaches shall be scrap and rust
And all the men and women laughing in the diners and sleepers shall pass to ashes.}
I ask a man in the smoker where he is going and he answers , "Omaha."