“Remember, man, you are dust and to dust you will return.”


As a Catholic, I would hear this every Ash Wednesday as a priest made a cross on my forehead with what remained after burning last year’s palms. I liked those words. They seemed very un-Catholic compared to all the rhetoric about saints and angels and the Holy Ghost flying around. They were basic. They were real. They said that we came from the earth and would return there without instructions of how to get to Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, or Limbo. They would be echoed in the non-attachment ideas I would later hear in other philosophies.

What kind of dust am I? Am I free like the “Dust in the Wind” that Kansas sang about?

Or am I dust clinging to a table leg in a forgotten corner?