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At the greasy edge of Lent 28 February 2017

Posted by Dr Moose in Faith, Lent, Life, Role-Playing Games, Self-criticism.
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I shouldn’t need the season of Lent to be blogging again, but I can’t hide the fact that there are only a certain number of hours each day, nor the fact that I have been writing, both in my proper paper-and-ink journal and in the realm of Role-Playing Games creativity. (Yes, for the first time in months I can mention the third element of the title of the blog. I’ve been spending a lot of time ruminating about creating a personal setting for the Traveller RPG, and getting all tied up in design sequences for FTL drives that are not to be found in the Official Traveller Universe. Maybe if I can find an appropriate link, tangential or otherwise, it’ll come up yet.)

Of course, Lent doesn’t start until tomorrow but we are at the cusp (and on this occasion I’ll leave aside questions about whether the fast starts at sunset). I’m going to try to blog every day. I may not achieve it, just as I failed in Advent, and had hoped there might be some sort of daily theme or keyword I could take as the starting point for my thoughts, whether they be devotional, creative, reflective or whatever, but no suitable list appears to be around, although I have a couple of things to check out.

One word does come to mind for today though, especially after cooking scores of pancakes for students here at the university: fat.

panacake-chaplainFat. The word that gives us Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, a phrase rather more evocative than Shrove Tuesday. Fat, not in the sense of my over-weightedness, nor in the context of the rampant obesity that besets the Western diet, but the fat that underlies the tradition of pancakes in Western Europe. Fat treated historically as the luxury to be consumed before the solemnity of Lent and symptomatic of all creature comforts and treats. Today much of that fat has been manifested not so much in pancakes as in the oil they have been cooked in. My hands still have the feel of it, the air carries the waft of it from frying, as I’m sure do my clothes and my hair. An alternate fragrance for the start of Lent that carries far further than the waft of incense, yet as readily identifiable downwind from our own shrines of convenience that are our takeaway food venues. The smell of fast gratification, and maybe, on the brink of a different meaning of the word fast, an appropriate stopping point.

Where have I become fat? No just in waist, but in faith or thought? Where have I sought the quick, flash, answer rather than the slower, more subtle, one? God willing, Lent, and a little discipline, will help me (& maybe ‘us’, if you travel along with me) to find the answers…

Tomorrow’s word: Ash.

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