I missed it. I can’t believe I missed it but I did. I’m sure most of you didn’t but I did. Oh, you want to know what I’m talking about don’t you? Ok, it’s called Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, otherwise known as overindulgence before you go into fast for forty days. Catholics call it lent, Christians in general call it fasting, and I have no idea what Zoro-Astrians call it, if they even call it anything. To tell you the truth, I don’t think the ZA’s know about that particular calendar day and I don’t think they would care.
I am usually more diligent in my own disciplines about fasting, resolutions and opportunities for self-enlightenment challenges. This year however, I seem to have been so busy I missed the news reports, internet photographs and all the events leading up to this month plus ten of introspective reflection. But you know, now that I think about it, I don’t really think I need to spend these weeks doing those sort of activities. After all, I do manage to critique myself on an almost daily basis through this blog and some conversations with folks close to me. Given those conversations are fewer and farther between these days but I still manage to hold intelligent conversations even if it is with myself or a character or two in my stories.
In the past I’ve managed to either give up something for this time of the year but five years ago I started to take on added responsibilities instead of giving things up. Most of the time it was prayer or meditation, but now, at this point in my life, I don’t know if I should take on anything, give up something? I don’t know. Nothing is jumping into my frontal lobes screaming for attention this year. I don’t know why this is but I have some good guesses and over the course of my life, I have come to depend on them. So much so that I have told a few people about them and wouldn’t you know it, they came true.
Initially, I was going to write this blog about the craziness of Fat Tuesday and Maundy Monday but I just couldn’t bring myself to walk down that particular path of degradation. I’m not above that sort of reflection but I just don’t feel up to it right now. I’m too tired and I don’t think anyone wants to hear about some misspent days of my youth while my vision was not focused on what was important in life. Besides, if we always focused on what evils we have done, we would never pull ourselves out of the mire and muck of our ids. Or would we?
In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, the season of lent or fasting is a time for individuals to reflect upon their lives and try and become a better person. Christians say it is a time to focus on Christ and God. Atheists laugh at Christians. Ok, maybe laugh is a bit harsh, and I say this because I know some atheists and they say one should always focus on doing right and being moral. It’s weird, when I was younger I thought they, atheists, were evil and out to destroy the world, but I was wrong. For the most part, from the non-believers I know that is, don’t care either way about faith, God and religion. They are just happy to be who they are and don’t really want anyone’s beliefs or issues shoved down their throat or pushed in their face. I can respect that. After all, we are a nation who does not recognize one official religion. Which I find really cool.
For me, I’ve always struggled with my religion, not faith; I am a believer that is for sure. But religion in general has always rubbed me the wrong way. I am a non-conformist by nature. I fight everything or at least question it. Maybe not verbally but I do. And when I can’t find the answer to what perplexes me, I find the answer. I rarely go to someone for the answer but when I do, I take what they tell me with a grain of salt, and then I go and research the topic and draw my own conclusions. This type of skepticism is not for everyone. I don’t recommend it for anyone, unless you want to discover who is a hypocrite, false prophet or even an outright liar.
Through it all though, one message has become clear to me, a message I won’t post here because it is not the same message for everyone. You have to discover the answers to your own questions in your own time and in your own way. Find your own enlightenment so to speak, but know this, if you do decide to walk down the path of knowledge you will be disappointed along the way. The path is not just filled with traps and dangers but crevices filled with doubt, pain and loneliness. It is not a journey for everyone. I’ve been traveling for years down this road which seems to have no end, and truth be told, I don’t think I will ever come to the end. Because this is neither an expressway nor even a cow path, it is a trek one only hopes to make it halfway through.
If you do choose to take this path, I can only recommend you learn patience quickly because most of the people you talk to will most assuredly try them until you are ready to explode.
Have a great week.