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Ash Wednesday. The first day of Lent.

I woke up tired and not wanting to wake up. Nevertheless, the day progressed. Biked to work, arrived mostly on time. Most of my interactions today have been satisfactory.

Lent has meant different things to me in the past. I have approached the season as something trendy, something behavioral, even something purging. This year, I want to take a diligently contemplative approach.

The first year I observed Lent, I was still a student at Multnomah. I made a near daily journal entry and posted them on my now deceased myspace and facebook accounts.

Man…remember myspace? Wow…

I’m choosing to abstain from Texting again this year. This is for me to develop more mindful communication and use of words. When my words must be spoken, I think about them more carefully knowing I must take greater responsibility for them. Also, in the spoken word, there is a deeper human connection. I need that human connection. For 40 or so days, I will not be hiding myself and what I want to say behind a three inch screen. I will inhabit my words and my ideas with my full voice and person.

That said, the start of Lent has not been perfect…I replied to a text from my wife before remembering, quite aghast, that today is Ash Wednesday! Ay nako. I promise, it was sheer forgetfulness. I’ll do better from here onward.

I am further resolving to journal each day of Lent. I write a lot, but mostly my book. Once upon a time, I journaled almost every day. Then this funny thing happened when I got into college and ran out of time… But for Lent this year, I want to resume the practice of daily journaling.

This year’s Lenten season is also special in that for the first time, my wife and I have chosen to observe it together. We have resolved that our family will abstain from movies and television.*

*Educational pieces related to birth will be permitted

*A pre-meditated movie date to see Les Miserables will be permitted. This being because, for us, going out to a theatre constitutes a date and a social activity and is not the same escapism that 3 episodes of a show is. And we go to the Academy where tickets are cheap.

I’m excited about this project. I love how my mind feels when I’m not watching a lot of TV. I love how I forget to care about that world. I love the idea of having those “media” hours available for other things like writing or reading or establishing that verbal human connection I was talking about with my wife.

This is a little intimidating. One or both of us is likely to say something the other doesn’t want to hear. Oy. But still, to be consistent with myself, one should not hide from anything.

Anyway. Thus is the premise for the next 40 days or so. I’m excited to see what epiphanies will follow.

 

Oh Lord, hear my voice

Remind me of Your presence

Remind me of how You listen

Save my soul from anguish

For I am in need of saving

Remind me of my first Love.

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