Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ashes to ashes...

...dust to dust.

And so begins the most important time of year on the Catholic calendar, Lent. When I was subjugated by the faith during my early years I recall spending a lot of time considering what it was I was going to "give up" for Lent. In honor of J.C., sacrifices were to be made so that His disciples could empathize with all of the suffering endured for our Salvation. Given my young age during my personal bout with the parochial education system I usually came up with the same list each year; soda, 2 hours of cartoons per day (vice my usual 3), and then some form of candy that I didn't really indulge in anyway -- even at a young age I was a master of loopholes. Ahh, youth. Of course I still find my old joke of now giving up Catholicism for Lent to be endlessly amusing. My defense being that while most Catholics only observe Lent for 6 weeks, I on the other hand sacrifice year-round. Again, I am the only one in my family who finds this funny.

So like any good lapsed Catholic I went out and acknowledged the beginning of this period of piety by celebrating Mardis Gras. What a concept. Only the church could have driven its people to prepare for the faith's most important Feast by cramming as much mindless debauchery as humanly possible into a 24-hour period. Then again, in North Arlington the concept of Fat Tuesday is pretty tame.

For the second year I attended the Clarendon-Courthouse Mardis Gras Parade which is as quaint and family-friendly as it gets. Oh there were beads and drag queens and colourful costumes but there was also an absolute dearth of open containers and bare breasts. Really it was just a few hundred people happily lining Wilson Boulevard while kids ran around berserk trying to collect as many beads as possible. After watching the Ballou High School Marching Band process by (the irony not being lost on me that the band from the most underfunded and dilapidated school in Southeast was out entertaining one of the wealthiest school districts in the nation) I experienced the surreal epiphany that I may have at that moment been standing on Main Street, USA. Welcome to Magic Kingdom.

9 Comments:

At 2/21/2007 10:15 AM, Blogger DCVita said...

I am orthodox christian, so I eat like a vegan during Lent. We give up anything that comes from animals. Needless to say, I actually kind of prefer it. But that is just food.

The whole concept of Mardis Grad totally baffles me. It just confirms my whole ying-yang philosphy on life. For every thing Holy, there will always be something Sinful. For every Black, there is a White. For every season, turn turn turn.

I am not even making sense right now.

 
At 2/21/2007 10:16 AM, Blogger DCVita said...

*Gras....Can't spell for shit.

 
At 2/21/2007 10:29 AM, Blogger Momentary Academic said...

I was going to write a post about "secular" lent, now that I too am a lapsed Catholic.

Now I don't have to do it.

Thanks!

 
At 2/21/2007 3:12 PM, Blogger Carrie M said...

you are totally deep, vita. :-) i have a friend in louisiana and she called me on the way to a parade on monday and i was like huh? who died? and she has off from school monday, tuesday, wednesday, which also confused me. we totally don't get it up here, which is fine. i don't need to be reminded that i'm supposed to give up something. forgetting may be a sin, but it's convenient.

 
At 2/21/2007 5:19 PM, Blogger Jason said...

I couldn't even handle plain ol' Roman Catholicism. Orthodoxy (Greek, Russian, Latvian, whatever), forget about it. I'd have broken so many rules in the first hour that excommunication measures would have already been in the works.

 
At 2/21/2007 8:30 PM, Blogger Ryane said...

Haha. I like that, giving up Catholicism for Lent. I don't even consider giving up anything anymore b/c frankly, I think it's just a bunch of stuff. I grew up Catholic, attended afternoon CCD classes every Wednesday and the whole magilla. End result--I still don't want to be Catholic, thankyouverymuch. But I am always up for a parade.

On a completely different note, Jason--you need to alert your gentle readers to when your band is next playing locally. I would absolutely come and be the annoying chick who asks you to sing "Don't Stop Believing". hahaha (I just heard that song on the radio and I'm sorry, it is a much better live song than 'Faithfully')

 
At 2/22/2007 7:31 AM, Blogger Jason said...

Well the rub is twofold with that. For starters I am hesitant to formally pimp my band in this forum in order to maintain my "bloggeristic integrity" but currently the larger concern is that our bass player (and main vocalist) is having mid-life issues.

While three of us went to high school together, our bass player is significantly older and juggling all manner of work and family stuff in addition to questions about "am I too old for this shit?" -- and seeing that he has been doing this thing called rock n' roll for almost as long as I've been alive, I can empathize. Anyway, we probably won't be gigging out until May or June. But when the time comes I may drop a few hints...

 
At 2/22/2007 11:27 AM, Blogger Carrie M said...

i'm jumping on the bandwagon as well - would love to see your band. you could always email ryane and i then swear us to secrecy. but we'd probably still pester you about journey songs. :-)

 
At 2/23/2007 8:05 AM, Blogger Ryane said...

Haha--Yeah, Jason!! Carrie and I won't tell a soul...honest!! (But I make no promises about Journey songs. ;-) )

 

Post a Comment

<< Home