Sunday, February 18, 2007
Good Stuff (or: Whales for Lent)
Yesterday I got e-mail from the fabulous Maggie, who has evidently been following my scrubs saga with great interest (perhaps more than it deserves?). She's a quilter, and she told me that on her trips to various fabric stores, she's going to look for the magic-shirt fabric. If she finds it, she offered me to make me a scrub shirt -- she has a pattern for scrubs -- which I won't have to pay for, even. "I love the story of the magic scrub top and I want to see it keep going!"
How completely and utterly cool and kind and generous is that?
Of course I said yes. How could I not say yes? Thank you, Maggie! And I hope you find the fabric!
Good hunting! (Looking for fabric's more fun than looking for Cylons, yes?)
This morning I got e-mail from my friend Pamela K. Taylor, a progressive Muslim who's been on several of the "Religious Left" panels I've moderated at WisCon. The Washington Post has selected her as one of their "On Faith" panelists, so she's now writing a weekly column for them. You can find the first one here. I don't know nearly as much as I should about Islam, so I always welcome the chance to learn more. Congratulations, Pamela!
And last night, I finished a draft of my Ash Wednesday homily (which, of course, I'll be posting here on Wednesday). Writing the homily, I finally stumbled on a useful way to think about Lent, which I've always considered an unpleasant season of gloom and guilt-tripping. Last night, pondering Ash Wednesday's reminders of mortality, I realized that what Lent's really doing is calling us to live as thoughtfully and intentionally as people do when they know they're dying: to strip down to the essentials, to figure out what's really important and what can be let go. It's like that "What would you do if you knew you were going to die tomorrow?" question, except that Lent asks us, "What would you do if you knew you were going to die in forty days?"
And the answer is surely some combination of "Give up the nonessentials, to have more energy for what's important," and "Have fun in ways you've always wanted to." Which means that our Spring Break Maui trip isn't anti-Lenten at all. If I knew I were going to die in forty days, I'd definitely squeeze in a trip to Maui to watch whales.