Next week is Ash Wednesday.  Once again I find myself pondering what, if anything, I should give up for Lent.


So what do I give up this year?  I don’t think I’m up for a lofty and poetic Lent.  This year I already feel like I’m lurking in a shadowy tenebrae.  I feel tied (chained?) to the mundane, the tellurian.

And so I ponder the question…
and question my motives…
and wonder if I should even bother.

But maybe, just maybe, if I wander through the shadows of Lent, I will catch a glimpse of light.

Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.
–Leonard Cohen

5 thoughts on “Lent

  1. Melanie says:

    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. thanks for relating from afar.

  2. attraversiamodarmaz says:

    I once heard a pretty helpful conversation from a priest about the whole idea of Lent and “giving up”. As I recall, he spoke about a time to allow ourselves to be closer to God, find her within us…revel in walking that path…he also talked about how it is not about “denying” ourselves for 40 days, but making room for that which brings us closer to God…one year I went to 6:30 mass every day (or most every day) during Lent…this was while I was teaching at Rosedale Middle School. It was such a beautiful thing I did for myself…not sure where I lie now, but I do know I will always be too Catholic to consciously eat meat on Fridays during Lent:)sounds silly, even as I say it – my comfortable coat of beliefs I was raised in:)

  3. Lindsey says:

    I love the poem you put at the end, Jill. It’s such a glimpse of hope; that there is redemption in “cracked.”
    Would you believe that I’ve never participated in Lent? I’ve always thought it was silly and “religious” and that we didn’t need to “beat” ourselves (as I viewed it then) to make up for our failings. That’s probably not what Lent is about at all, but I’ve never given it much consideration until this year and I think my view is shifting. Maybe I’m starting to think that, in denying a bit of myself, I allow myself to actually feel the ache in my soul-the one that’s always there but is usually pacified by something like shopping or chocolate or TV or sleep or…or…or any number of things. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll participate in Lent this year…because I want to feel the ache for home. I want to remember that I don’t belong here…that this life isn’t the way it was meant to be. That there is complete redemption just around the corner. That my tears and lonliness and guilt and shame and pain won’t always be…that there is a bigger and fuller story…that ends really, really well.
    Anyway, didn’t expect myself to go on and on like that. If I’m totally off on what Lent is, please tell me. I really don’t understand it at all and would love to know what you think.
    You’re so great. I just love ya.
    ps. Am’s heart pillow is here. fyi. I’ll get it to you soon.

  4. frenchgirl says:

    oh, j, that poem is beautiful. i thought of you and m (not to mention a and j!) many times tonight at WM as paul shared some art and thoughts about ash wednesday. i too struggle with the season and how lent should manifest itself in my life / routine / soul. i’d love to hear more of your thoughts on this.

  5. Jill says:

    M…thanks for the “ahhhhhh” moment. It’s so comforting to feel understood.
    A…I like the idea of Lent being a time for “that which brings us closer to God.” That’s a great way to put it.
    L…I would really love to talk to you more about Lent. It’s really pretty new for me, too. Here’s a book I would recommend (thanks to Frenchgirl, two years ago): It’s called _Organic God: Lenten Meditations on the Words of Jesus_. I have three days to find that in the mess of books in my garage.
    F…I wish I would have been there to see the art and hear the thoughts about ash wednesday. You know, you are the one I really connected to for my first “celebration” (is that the right word?) of Lent. You walked into church with the book _Organic God_ (which I had just read about in the paper that morning), and I sort of had my Lenten “aha” moment. 😉 So thank you.
    I have some more thoughts on Lent. After some time sitting in stillness during the meditation in church this morning, I think I know what I’m going to give up. I’d love to hear more of you all’s thoughts on Lent, too. It’s a contemplative time, after all.

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