Random Person: What are you giving up for Lent? Me: Nothing!
RP: (brightly) So you’re adding something then? Me: Not that either. (Self-deprecating smile.) Though I do keep trying to improve myself in various ways, more of this and less of that, if you know what I mean.
(Thought bubble above Me‘s head: “And whether giving up or adding, I shouldn’t be announcing it, should I? It’s a fast, and the point of fasting is the inward retreat, not looking gaunt and obvious about it, unless of course it’s a community-wide fast as it was during Christendom, which is over now, or a group-or-twosome-covenanted thing for reflection and accountability, in which case the question with its implied individuality is still unnecessary.)
RP: (more brightly) I know, you’ve given up on Lent! Me: Not at all. I still like Lent well enough. (Here’s why.) I like how it starts, with rituals of “dust to dust,” and how it ends, with Easter, and its awareness of turning my face towards Jersalem, as it were, with Jesus, whatever that may imply, like embracing the givens and suffering, facing my death.
RP: But you’re not fond of sacrifice. Me: Probably not… Sorry, I can’t explain it. I couldn’t hear a particular call to it, I guess. Or maybe I wasn’t listening. Maybe it was the chatter. Yeah, probably the chatter. Lent-lite, Lent-tweet tweet. Not that I’m on Twitter or know anything about it; it’s a metaphor for me.
RP: (kindly) Hey, no offense meant. Thanks for sharing. (Thought bubble above RP‘s head: Bit of a curmudgeon, isn’t Me?)