Friday, March 25, 2011
Ash Wednesday / Easter Sunday
A few weeks ago as I was driving through Savannah's beautiful city squares after class, I couldn't help but notice the ashes: almost every pedestrian I saw had a gray smudge right in the center of his or her forehead. Ash Wednesday... mid-day mass at the Cathedral must have just let out.
I grew up Catholic but haven't practiced in several decades (am currently non-denominational Christian)... couldn't remember the symbolism behind the ashes, so I looked it up. As far as I can tell, wearing ashes is an ancient practice associated with repentance.
Seeing all of those faithful Catholics, foreheads smudged, was rather lovely... it inspired me to create the above image as a Spring mailer. Rather than settling on a simple portrait, I set the ash-wearing woman next to a young girl in an Easter bonnet, to show the span of lent (from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday), and to symbolize the hope of Easter, which follows the sorrow of the cross. Easter, after all, equals hope: new life, abundant life, eternal life. Joy!