Today is Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras. It is the last hoorah before entering the Lenten season. It is a day of indulgences and extravagance. It is often a day of feasting and drunken debauchery. I am a more staid and mellow reveler, instead enjoying simple things. Onion rings with my dinner (still baked, not fried). Tuna salad on a baguette. I made a fresh pot of coffee. I was going to bake an apple upside down ginger cake, but realized that tomorrow is a day of fasting. I’ll save it for Thursday.
I delight in the whimsy and silly. Emerson said, “Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.” Silliness has a purity, an unadulterated joy. It is not reasoned or regarded. Silliness is not orchestrated. It is beyond laughter. Silliness percolates up from a well of something fantastic and unpredictable. I occasionally stumble upon things that strike me a absolute silliness. To find an object that is both useful and also pings at the funny bone of my silliness, it is worth a fine ransom. But to be able to purchase them on Etsy.com for $3.50 a piece….oh JOY! Every morning I open the fridge, I giggle.
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. It starts the Lenten season. We are asked to give up things as sacrificial offerings, tithes or alms. During Lent, I pray my rosary every day. I take extra pleasure that it is a rosary I made myself. I also try to give up something in my character that separates me from God. One year I gave up pessimism. Last year I gave up contempt. One year I stopped sharing gossip. One year I gave up gluttony – the over indulgence in all things. I am stll in discernment as to what I shall give up that is part of my nature that most separates me from God. I also try to DO something that enhances or builds my faith. I am going to be quiet tonight and listen to what might be my best offering to God.
I will then giggle inside, as I go make my cup of coffee and see those silly magnets on the fridge door. I try to imagine Jesus laughing. I try to imagine Jesus and his mother talking over a meal and laughing. I think about these wayward men walking with Jesus and the intimacy between them. Their group was not forlorn or miserable. They were alive with a passion. There had to be great joy, laughter and a positive energy. Too often we think of the solemnity of the life of Christ. I love to imagine the joy, the tomfoolery among these men and the inside jokes that they shared. It makes him all the more human to me. On this eve of Lent, it is a silly thought.