Today is the day before Ash Wednesday, a day alternately known as Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Carnivale.
If you're looking for a history of this day, with its theological links, see this post. What I'm writing today on this creativity blog will be a collection of Mardi Gras inspired thoughts.
--How interesting for the pope to announce his impending resignation on the day before Mardi Gras. Will he listen to the news reports that I'm hearing? I'm listening to person after person saying how much they liked John Paul II and how distant they feel from the current pope. I'm having moments when I feel sad for the current pope.
--The pope's announcement led to a spirited discussion of how we could use this plot twist to write some sort of thriller, a la Dan Brown. We talked about the secret documents that the pope might have found in his files. Let's see, Dan Brown already milked the Jesus/Mary Magdalene connections. What if the pope found out that Jesus had had a tender relationship with a man? This led to a discussion of sexuality in Greco-Roman times and how a homosexual relationship in the way we use that term now would have been foreign to that culture--so Christ having an egalitarian homosexual relationship would have been radical in all sorts of ways.
--Of course, writing and publishing such a book would make the writer a target of all sorts of people. No thanks.
--President Obama is giving the State of the Union speech on Mardi Gras??? Who made that decision? He's going to compete with all the drinking and merrymaking?
--I know, I know, it's probably on this day because the Constitution mandates that it be so.
--If you want some festivity that doesn't involve drinking (because like me, you've got to go to work tomorrow morning), this post gives you a great bread recipe, along with photographs.
--Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the day that begins Lent. Will you have a Lenten discipline?
--My Lenten discipline will be to work on my memoir 3-4 days a week. I thought about pledging every day, but my travel schedule between now and Easter will defeat a daily discipline. But 3-4 times a week is both a challenge and accessible.
--When I first thought of it, I thought, that can't be my Lenten discipline. I'm enjoying it too much. I think of a Lenten discipline as something grim like giving up a pleasure. But many of us are good at self-denial. What if we gave ourselves permission to add a pleasure to our lives?
--For more thoughts on Lenten disciplines, see this post on my theology blog.
--I'm feeling a desire to do something creative for Mardi Gras, but unlike last year, not baking. I want to do some mask making. I want to do some collaging. I wish I had the day off. But it's early in the year of Paid Time Off, so I don't want to take the time off, in case I should need it later.
--I could write a poem about our Mardi Gras masks, the ways we have to compose our faces while at work. Hmmm.
--I have so many poems percolating. Perhaps my Lenten discipline should be a return to a goal of 1 poem a week. I wonder what would happen if I wrote a poem a day, the first writing that I did each morning. How much writing can I cram into one day? I want to work on my memoir and write more poems and continue blogging.
--Maybe instead of looking for an accessible goal, I should push myself. I shall use this Mardi Gras to will myself to do more than I think I can do. I will fortify myself by taking some time to envision what this success would look like.
--Ash Wednesday to Easter: a poem a day, 3-4 days of memoir work a week, along with near-daily blogging. That would be a Lenten discipline!
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