“I go to Mass early, start the day laden with the strangeness of being a Christian, of being part of this we who celebrate death and resurrection. After the ashes, Communion. After the bread and wine, the body and blood of Christ, it’s a relief to move on to bran flakes and coffee. But you’ve got a charcoal-colored cross on your forehead. You forget and then remember: you’re dying.” —Leaves of Ash, Ashley Makar
You forget, and then remember. Ashley Makar, Killing the Buddha editor and one of the defining voices of our site, has been remembering the ritual of Ash Wednesday for years, before and during her struggle to live exuberantly with metastatic cancer, most recently in her amazing KtB e-book You Were Strangers: Dispatches From Exile.
And now you can hear that voice in person, from Ashley’s reading last fall at NYU’s Palliative Poetics event with Ritu Sen on writing as palliative care, and friendship. Listen here: 10/22/2014 Ash & Ritu