I went home after Ash Wednesday service and baked chocolate-chip cookies. They gooed and fell apart as I was eating them. They were still hot. I used to feel reverent abstaining from pleasures for Lent. This year I felt reverent eating chocolate.
I like to get into complicated political and religious discussions. In such a discussion on facebook, about the Wisconsin union stuff, someone I didn’t know threw at me: “If you want to make more money, you’ll have to work your ass off like everybody else.” It stung. I was getting ready for work, and suddenly I was all riled up and planned four things to write back, and bumbled around the house flustered. Then I was late for work, proving to him that I am a lazy public employee accountable to no one. (First hour is my planning period, so at least no children were harmed.)
The dust on Ash Wednesday is inspirational. Isaiah is dust. Plato is dust. Michelangelo is dust. Going to dust puts you in good company. You’re made of the same junk that they were, and you’re going wherever they went. I love that.
We read the long list of things we’ve done wrong, and it’s comical. I mean, really. I have done well at caring for others. I’ve been patient and forgiving and sweet many times since last Ash Wednesday. How much better could I get at it? On the other hand, the idea that I could be an A student, to God, is pretty ridiculous. I’m going to smirk and pout and screech. I’ll blunder about unconsciously, stomping on other people’s feelings. Guaranteed.
It’s funny how much it hurts when a random stranger offhandedly say I get what I deserve, that my anger at how teachers are paid and treated is unjustified. It’s funny how hard I have tried to become someone worthy. Absurd that I could hope anyone else’s judgment could substitute for my own conscience. Especially absurd when I remember that my parents and lovers and friends have never once told me, “I love you because you’re such a good person and a hard worker.” Nope.
It’s so odd it’s even ha-ha funny to me, like, geez, what were you thinking? Like “Springtime for Hitler” funny. Let God run the God business. Just be your little messed up self. Let other people be messed up. Stand up for yourself, make your best argument, but you can’t take their mess personally. Nothing feels more reverent to accept people’s humanity. Except possibly warm chocolate chip cookies.