Monday, March 2, 2009

Lent - Late starting

Ooops. I missed the start of Lent and have failed (miserable sinner) to post this year's "focus."

Although I'm more of a recovering Catholic, I've always appreciated Lent for the time it demands of us to focus on one thing and take the time to understand the change we choose, through an examination of conscience, to make.

A month, or 40 days, is exactly the time required to change a habit and isn't habit just another word for carelessness? heedlessness? lack of seriousness?

Many years ago I decided that the lenten obligation did not have to mean giving up something I loved or took pleasure in, like chocolate or bread or alcohol (such cliches and i'm pretty sure they're tied to diets); Instead, I could embrace a quality I lacked and, through meditation and awareness, modeling, acquire it. I liked this idea a lot and it helped me become more gentle with my failings and myself.

I also like choosing interesting vices to give up. Like gossip. One year, while still working at the little art college on peachtree street, i announced that i was giving up gossip and it generated so much interesting conversation and debate that had us defining gossip and pointing it out and re-phrasing, that a half dozen of us were involved. Made the month go by very fast and we all learned what we needed.

This year I'm embracing seriousness. I've been 'challenged' here; accused of not taking something seriously that I thought I was. Being told you don't take an instruction/order/assignment seriously is, to me, like being told, you're not a good mother or a good person. Not fighting words, per se, but confusing. I mean, of course I take it seriously. But after a couple of day of thinking about it, I realized...maybe...I need to think about what serious means as much as I thought about gossip.

So that's my Lenten observance. Wonder if i'll get any art out of it?

8 comments:

K9 said...

i agree. i think depriving ones self of chocolate or meat is easy compared to adding one something of substance. thats what i try and do -add on. i already gave up pot and alcohol and movies (or going to a theatre) and television (bet idea ever!)

my lent this year is to be more considerate and a better wife. sounds like a bunch of nothing, doesnt it? well its not. grrrrherhahahaha

im a catholic who doesnt go to Mass anymore. last years tre ore at the CTK put the final nail in the coffin for me. turned a meditation on the corpus christi into a political venue for bishop wilton gregory. grah!

ABG said...

I hate when people get in the way of my spirituality. oh, that's religion.
so, what does being a more considerate wife look like? I'm looking for metrics myself, so i know when i've succeeded. otherwise, it's just too murky.

K9 said...

it looks quieter. it looks more compassionate and less selfish. it works better when i am at the cabin ;-) i dont know how i will know i succeeded. but the loss of our hen brought out the sweetest part of him. very tender. i think his heart was just as broken as my own.

Anonymous said...

Embrace seriousness? Wow! I've always thought that half of the problems in the world were caused by people taking themselves and things too seriously. I am serious about that. To paraphrase a 70's expression, "Lighten up or leave me alone."

In Nashville this week so I think instead of being a Cattle Rancher, I'll be one of Sebastian's Nashville Cats, sort of a muscial proverbial knee-high.

ABG said...

It was Traffic's "Light up or leave me alone."
and it didn't refer to the mood.

Anonymous said...

Oh I'm well aware of what it referred to. I modified it to suit my non-serious purposes. Guess how many guitar pickers I've seen here in Nashville. You're right, 1352.

K9 said...

nancy drew! my favorite was the tolling bell.

ABG said...

the tolling bell! I remember that one well. it was the one that made me wonder why she never seemed to have to pee.