But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
- 2 Corinthians 4:7
Lent, my all-time favorite liturgical season (if Lent had a concert poster, it would be over my bed. i love it that much.), has begun. Other than the fact that I am a big-time wallower, I can't rightly describe my affinity for these dark days of discipline. Luckily, this year the Lenten party invitations are coming in fast and furious. I'd already decided to pray three times a day and fast from the extended bouts of whining I've lately been prone to ("but Mooooooom, I have a TUUUUUMOOOOOORR!"), but apparently my private practices are not enough. I've been invited to view special daily lenten blogs, to participate in e-mail community devotions, to pray (in absentia) along with my office every morning, to give up meat. I always thought my sister was the sociable sibling, but doggone it if I haven't found one arena where my popularity finally outshines hers: everybody wants me in on their dreary trudge through the muck of the church year. I am honored.
It is snowing in Roanoke. The fam and all Roanokers are delighted, this being the first fall of the year. I'm torn between disgust at the weak southern snow's inability to cover the ground and a buoyant pleasure of the knowledge that these flakes, so slow and scattered and gentle, will stick around just long enough to be enjoyed and then, magically, mercifully, DISAPPEAR. Oh, sweet southern climate.
In my commitment to leave the house each day during convalescence, I went with my Mom to a meeting of Roanoke Valley Lady Pastors on Thursday (obviously, not the group's actual name, to the confusion of many of their congregants). The speaker, a chaplain at a local college (er, pardon me, University), spent an entire hour denigrating the current college generation as selfish, immature, spiritually ignorant, religiously incompetent, and uninterested in community. While I sympathize with her obvious burn-out from 22 years on the job, and almost felt compelled to stand up, give her a hug and instruct her to take an immediate sabbtical in a tropical place, she mostly made me angry. I work with young people committed to community, church, and transformation day in and day out. Honestly, it wears on my cynical nature. And yet, despite my best efforts, I live a life of hope.
Ever wonder what happens when you lose an ovary? I hadn't, until I did. It turns out, what happens is that you get very, very bitchy for a while. Even my mother confirms my bitchiness of late, and my sister had to flee the house after I laid into her for calling my MacBook "stupid" (an offense which, to be fair, could have set me off even without the hormonal storm). I have no idea how hormones work, why they swirl, what they do, but I imagine them to be as clueless as I am:
"HEY! What the hell?! Where'd that ovary GO?"
"Look, lady, the way we work is that we have these two ovaries. TWO, ya hear? Take one away, we can't do shit. Whaddya want from us?"
I'm fairly certain that my hormones have gone on strike. And I'm not talking about a non-violent sit-in kind of strike, or a simple don't show up to work strike. This is not the writer's guild on strike, this is more Upton Sinclair, more local meatpackers' union on strike. They're protesting the working conditions, decrying the moral decay of the ovary-less society, pushing for bodily upheaval. And I am here to tell you, friends, that they are winning the battle.
Luckily, I am immersed in Lent and infusing myself with coffee: opiates of the masses and of the bloodstream, respectively.
from dust you are made, and to dust you shall return