February 23, 2012
Mardi Gras has come and gone. Joe and I went to Pappadeaux that day for a meal hoping, I suppose, that it would bring back the feelngs of the parties and parades of our times together in New Orleans. But the Cresent City is unique, our experiences there are unrepeatable and our expectations were unrealistic. Perhaps in our culture of muchness and manyness "Fat Tuesday" is too much like every other day.
Ash Wednesday, on the other hand, is for me a day like no other. I don't like fasting. I do like ashes. I never quite know what to "give up" and I usually feel like I am about to head out on a long hike with a pack that is very heavy and a heart that feels too vulnerable.
For some reason Lent has often been a time of grieving for me. I could understand it if the grieving was just about my own sinfulness but it is much more than that. My journey during these forty days has, in recent years, been filled with memories of those who no longer recognize or engage me along the way. What is it that causes us to break away from those we said we loved? Why do differences so often end in leaving? Is it that we cannot accept the way someone else's life unfolds?
It seems to me that it takes the same kind and amount of energy to leave as would be required to stay. In the coming days we will be reminded in the Scriptures about those who could not remain with Jesus. Whether it was the in the garden, along the via Dolorosa, or at the foot of the cross staying was evidently enormously challenging. I want to listen carefully so that I might figure out how to better understand these losses that I grieve.
Posted February 23, 2012