Monday, February 4, 2013

Dorothy (mon)Day QOTW: Simple, But Not Easy

"God meant for things to be much easier than we have made them"

It wasn't until after 1:30 this afternoon that I realized I hadn't yet talked to anyone at all for the day. Quite frankly, I enjoyed the silence. Although, it wasn't really silence. I listened to Sunday Baroque on public radio as I made apple-peach-berry sauce and did a couple of loads of laundry.

It snowed last night so the world seemed a little more quiet; a little more serene with a blanket of white covering the naked and dry grass. I stayed in my pajamas until noon-ish. It was awesome. Then I got to thinking about Lent. Really, I got to thinking about how I am already getting myself ready for Lent. It's as if my mind is saying, "Stop. Slow down. The time for reflection is coming."

And so it is. I love Lent. The quiet sacrifice. The introspection engendered by Lenten practices. I often forget that I am a quiet person comfortable with being by herself. I once went on a 6-day silent retreat and loved it.

As much as I love Lent, I don't enjoy Ash Wednesday or Good Friday. As a recovering compulsive overeater, those days are tough for me. Ash Wednesday is even tougher this year since it falls on my birthday. I lost the privilege of eating birthday cake and all that stuff years ago, but this year, I can't even enjoy the stuff I still can eat. I'm working on trying to look at the opportunity to fast as a gift from God rather than theft of food, but I'm falling woefully and pitifully short of that mark. Maybe I will reach it in the next 10 days and maybe I won't. Either way, I will fast no matter what. And I won't die because of it. I might see the fruit of the fasting that very night, or I might see it weeks later. Who knows. Maybe it's not my business to even see what the results of the day will be.

Getting back to silence. You might remember, dear reader, that I gave up Facebook for Advent. Well, that experiment worked so good that I've decided to do it again for Lent. I don't really have any food that I can give up since I am on a professionally proscribed food plan, so an action must be sacrificed. Facebook is a time-waster and highly addictive--out it goes. Even as I write this post, I've checked my Facebook page ad naseum. And for what? None of the status updates are important and only some are amusing. But still, I check it, check it, check it. Checking out for 40 days (at least) starting Feb. 13th. Sundays are not fasting days, but still I won't go on it. Silence and simplicity in Lent needs to be more than simply not talking with my mouth and my time needs to be better spent.

Dorothy Day was right--our lives were meant to be simple and unassuming. Uncomplicated. Lent is the perfect time to become more holistic.

My parents would have been married for 57 years today. They were married in less-complicated times.