Some days I learn so much it makes my head ache. Processing the world we live in is enough to drive you crazy, quite literally. Thankfully, I blessed with an incredible instrument. This vessel the Most High has gifted me to move through this realm in, is -inside and out- amazing. I pray I can live up to the destiny set forth for me. I am told spirit puts no more on you than you can bear; I have to believe this.
I started counting the number of days since Ash Wednesday, when I removed meat products from my daily diet for Lent. It has been 12 days. When I counted the remaining days until Easter Sunday – 34, I was thrown off a bit. Do the math, it does not add up. When I started my Lent2012 fast I read that Christians give up meat for 40 days and 40 nights to commemorate the fast of Jesus in the dessert for this amount of time. Thirty-four plus twelve is forty-six.
In researching Lent, I realize that like many other things, there are different interpretations depending on the source. Some sources say you are only required to give up meat on Fridays, others for the entire season. Giving up meat only on Fridays doesn’t make much sense to me. First of all, I was taught in the Episcopal Church that every Friday was a fasting day from meat, which is why we ate fish on Fridays. (Some people believe fish is flesh-meat, too. Fish are not plants so I will not be consuming any this Lent.) Second, is that really a sacrifice? One day a week? Are we so fleeting in our commitments that we are unable to practice the traditions that have been put in place to teach us lessons and make us stronger? So fleeting that we will change the traditions even when they don’t make good sense? Who is that helping?
Back to the numbers, I was reading on CUF.org that Lent is 46 days long because the six Sunday’s don’t count – they are considered “mini-Easters”. I am not feeling that approach either. You do not get to take breaks while practicing penitence. It would seem to me that on Sunday – the day of worship, you would be more steadfast in your penitence.
I have to admit, I did not start this journey thinking that I was giving penance. However, it may be beneficial for me to look at it from this perspective. It may be exactly what I need at this point in my life. Forgive me, I am about to get seriously deep.
I think, I said I THINK, the calender needs to be adjusted. I will again admit, I am not basing my theory on complex astrological calculations. In fact, the thought came to me as I was riding in the car one day and I saw a billboard with the number 360 on it. The radius of a circle is 360 degrees. It prompted me to wonder, ‘why do we have a different number of days in different months?’ If we divided the year in 12 months equally, 30 days each that would be 360 days for the year – we may in fact come full circle. If the year was divided this way (which it has been under some ancient calenders), if you start on Wednesday 40 days later will always be a Sunday. Under this idea we would need to start our fast the night before Ash Wednesday in order to feast in the evening Easter Sunday.
I don’t want to get lost in the technicalities. The reason I am fasting is because I believe fasting brings about a clarity that nothing else can bring. When you deny yourself, when you create self defined boundaries you are better able to handle the occasions when you must do without for reasons outside yourself. It makes you stronger.
Using only plant products in my diet has forced me to become more creative with my meals. I will share my recipes soon, as I am about to recycle the repertoire and I can be more specific about what I am creating the second time around. I have been on a journey around the world through food and some days I have simply had to make do with what was available. But again, working with what you have is another avenue to creativity. Today, I finished off everything green in the frig and it came together as a Great Green Salad.
Until another day…stay strong.