Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Tri-Polar Week

Welcome to Shrove-Gras Ash Lent week. Hang on, because it takes you from pancakes, Mardi Gras beads, and wild celebration to the depths of death and ashes, then pushes you out into a desert for forty days. A tri-polar experience, if you will. It seems kinda dangerous for even the healthiest - mentally and emotionally - among us.

Today was all about indulgence. My pancakes were slathered in butter and soaked in syrup. And yours? I had a slice of King Cake so whisky-soaked that I was breathing fire. And I mean that in a good way.

Tomorrow, everything goes very solemn. It's all about being constantly and uncomfortably reminded that, yes, you are human. You started as dust, and - guess what? - that's where you're ending up. Sounds like a marketing dream for funeral homes and crematoriums, but that doesn't seem to be the case. You never see them outside churches handing out flyers after Ash Wednesday services. Still, it is the one day of the year, other than update-your-will day, where you're confronted with your ultimate demise. Here are some ashes on your forehead to prove that you are, indeed, terminal.

And then, the long stretch of endless heat and sand known as Lent. Ah, me. What to give up? What to take on? Can I maintain forty days of discipline (and does God really care whether I do or don't)? Well, it's enough to make you want to stay in bed and pull the covers over your head. Until Easter. What if I decide to give up Lent? Or just give up giving up?

I'm not feeling particularly desert-y Lent-y this year. Yes, I've thought of a couple of straight-jacket disciplines to squeeze myself into for six weeks, but we'll see what develops. While I think I'll survive the bi-polarity of pancakes and ashes, I'm not sure I'm ready for a tri-polar experience.

Party on for a few more hours, friends. And then get the doctor to write you a prescription for tri-polar meds. Good for six weeks.


Liz said...

Great post as always, maryb. My Lenten resolve is to write a little of my novel every day. We'll see how that goes too.

MaryB said...

Liz - we always seem to be in sync with our Lenten disciplines (remember the no chocolate thing a few years back?). Writing is one of my two. And the hardest of the two, I might add. Moving forward.