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ash wednesday: 2014

"ash wednesday 2014: the wealth of nations"
mixed media on stretched canvas (acrylic paint, vintage papers, photocopies)
10" x 8"
march 2014
gregory a. milinovich 

we are not as strong as we think we are.

that is the phrase that perhaps best sums up what ash wednesday is all about for me.

it is a reminder to stop for a moment and recognize that we are just as broken as the dust in our lungs, the earth that holds us, and the ash, that at least for one day, we will wear on our faces as if to proclaim this truth for us, since we seem mostly incapable most of the time.

we would rather ignore our brokenness, and continue the charade of strength and self-sufficiency.  wait?  i am going to die?  i am a sinful, broken person?  i think i'll just keep playing the "i'm alright, you're alright, we're all alright" game, thank you very much.  and we do play that game, don't we.  we are like kids playing the game of life, gathering spouses and children and fake money all on our way to easy street, we hope.

but ash wednesday is a necessary reminder that this is no game, and that the paper money of our games will all go up in flames, and the coins that jingle in our pockets will all be melted down, back to the elements.  the wealth of nations, says the prophet habakkuk, is all ash, in the end.

and so am i.

oh, except for easter.  there's that whole resurrection thing.  but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

below is a little collage to show you some of the progress of this year's ash wednesday's collage, called "the wealth of nations."


and can you believe that i've been at this for 8 years now?  i can't.  below you can see part of each of the 8 collages i've made.


have a blessed beginning to your lent.  may you linger awhile in the wilderness, surrendering your illusions of power and control, so that you might discover real, abundant life at just the right time.

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