It was somewhere in the middle of the day that I remembered today was Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, meaning tomorrow Lent begins. It feels more like Fast Tuesday: it got here quickly. I know part of the surprise for me is my work schedule keeps me from doing anything during the week but work. I leave the house each morning, Monday through Thursday, about ten-thirty and get home around nine-thirty at night, which pretty much kills the day. The other part is we have not found any continuing traditions around Fat Tuesday here in Durham that have helped us make the day more of a marker. All of that said, I think it’s kind of funny that it snuck up on me because I’ve been thinking about Lent for a couple of weeks now because I’ve been thinking about my Lenten Journal, which has been my practice for several years now: I write everyday, aiming for a thousand words a day, through Easter Sunday. I’ve known tomorrow was Ash Wednesday and it still caught me by surprise, thanks to what fills up my life and makes it harder to hear, or, should I say, to listen.
I have learned over the years that I must also be reading for my writing to spiritual practice during these days. Thanks to a referral by my friend Randy, I started This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin, which promises to be quite thought provoking. Thanks to Ginger’s sermon a couple of weeks ago, I am rereading Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life. Thanks to Ginger’s Valentine’s gift to me, I have a couple of issues of Harper’s Magazine that always have something to surprise me and are always so eloquently written. Thanks to a study I am going to be leading at church for four Saturdays during Lent, I’ve been reading the Book of Job, and will continue doing so.
The season, it seems, is beginning with thanks, which is a good place to start.
Now, I’m going to take advantage of a chance to get a good night’s sleep.