Friday, October 21, 2011

My Version of Lent

As regular readers will be aware, I'm not a Christian. Nor am I a Muslim, a Jew, a Buddhist, a Shinto, an atheist, a Wiccan (well, I'm sort of a wWccan...) or from any other traditional religious bent. 

However, I'm feeling the real need to buckle down and  have some contemplation time. A time of readjusting. A time where I can integrate some of the learnings of the year in a meaningful way and really find out what it is I've come to.

It's been a big year - I need this consolidation time.

So, this will be my version of Lent. Just at the other end of the year and without the penance attached to the Jesus worship. Or it could be seen as a Pandora's personal version of Ramadan - just without the fasting. Maybe this could be seen as a longer version of Yom Kippur - considering the actions of the last while and bringing things back into balance.

I have forty days to do this - forty days is the normal time to do a personal pilgrimage like this. Which will take me to the end of November.

So, for the next forty days.

I'm giving up ice cream. No ice cream. That is the sacrifice section. My crutch will not be available to me in any way for forty days. Phah, you say - what sort of sacrifice is that.?

Well, I see ice cream as the sixth food group. It's a family trait. If I don't have ice cream every few days things start to slide. I'll admit that more of the cold creamy stuff has been sneaking into my diet of late. It's time to address this properly and bring it back into balance.

After all, I'm ten months clean of fast food - what is 40 days without ice cream? I don't crave fast food any more - thank goodness) Maybe it will slake my need for the stuff.

Saying this, giving up ice cream is going to be harder than you will ever know.

But as with all good periods of Lent type activities, you need celebrations too.

And again, this needs to be a personal thing.

My celebration will be to write a poem a day. A short poem. Some days it may just be a haiku. Other days something a bit more substantial.

For without poetry, who are we? After all, a poem looks at the world the way a woman looks at a man (I'm misquoting Wallace Stevens here). I think it's time I rediscovered Pandora the Poet again.  I miss her. She disappeared with my muse a few years ago. It's a part of me that's been lost for a long time. In many ways, she's my true essence - hidden from sight like the ghost of a red-headed step-child.

It's going to be an interesting experiment (Dodgy poetry aside)

So, here's today's offering.

Wish me luck


Twenty One Ten

Mirrored, marbled streets slip under heels
As riot police arch-backed stare at feral campers
Angry under a bronzed Burke and Wills.
Let's take over the city.
Let's not.
The 109 stalls behind a bank of snail paced snail cones.
Today we walk in the rain. Late. Damp. Calm.
Unconcerned by the MungBeanStandOff.
Florence and the Machine drums on relentlessly,
A silent scream between the ears,
Unheard by the ferals
Unheard by the riot police.
As the dog days are probably not over.


Kath Lockett said...

Best of luck re your 'Lent' and it's a very Melbourne-centric poem but one that is very likely being echoed in most cities (except Geneva) all over the world.....

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

I too have given up ice cream for "Lent" (I've cheated though because I rarely eat it anyway).

Good Luck - I'm sure you will prevail.