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?