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2.10.2013

On what to give up for Lent...





























last night i found myself at a small downtown club listening to some really fine new orleans tunes--dueling trumpets, rich and broken voices. organized, beautiful chaos.

and there was a moment when la cucaracha came spitting out of one of the horns and i had this very clear memory of how as i child my father would pull me from the shower and towel me off as he sang that ridiculous song. and i'd forgotten. and how could i forget that? and what other memories have too long sat on a shelf somewhere?

standing in the too crowded space just before the stage i turned to this lovely man who i'm just now friends with--this person who barely knows me--and i said, if this tuesday is already fat tuesday then i must think of something to give up for lent immediately.

and before the words were even out of my mouth, he looked right at me and said, how about self-doubt? 

and god how that question literally took the air from my body. few times in my life have such simple and elegant and wholly true things been said. and he barely knows me. and so how did he know that?

i thought i'd gotten good at faking it, you know?

i felt so exposed in that moment. so seen and not, all at once.

self-doubt.

how about self-doubt?

divinity mostly arrives in unusual forms.



19 comments:

gelt said...

sounds like a keeper to me - both the question and this friend.

Alice said...

At the beginning of 2012, my now-ex told me that my New Year's Resolution should be to be nicer to myself. Over a year and one broken heart later, I'm still horrible to myself. So maybe I should give that up for Lent. Hmm. x

Kiersten said...

I'm not particularly religious myself, but having been raised Catholic - that seems like the best idea I've ever heard of what to give up for Lent.
I've always believed that people giving up ice cream were somehow missing the point...Wasn't it supposed to help you grow in some way? And how was only eating ice cream on Sundays helping anyone?
End rant - point being, I think this was a lovely idea from someone who may not have realized how great it was...
<3 Kiersten

Shawnee said...

i grew up with friends who participated in lent.. and this is the smartest one i've ever heard. so wise. meaningful.

you desribed that moment perfectly - when he said 'self doubt' - really makes me feel.

Heather said...

"divinity mostly arrives in unusual forms"

Gosh what a great summation of faith.

Moonboots said...

Giving up on self doubt takes a lifetime of lents I think. But then what do I know? from one self doubter to another.

Keep working on it as your writing talent is likely to eclipse that doubt at some point. Keep writing your way beyond lent and into self belief.

Jessica said...

I like this post.
Very honest, real and raw.

Jessica
www.littlemapleleaf.blogspot.com

Elizabeth Mateer said...

Beautiful idea...I'm still trying to figure out what to give up

Natalie said...

This is perfect, I love your voice.

Jacob Phelps said...

your writing always intrigues me. But you are right - self doubt would be great.

Tom said...

Strong. Let me know how you do it!

Swishy said...

I think that is beautiful. And I think you should do it, because you are so wonderful and inspiring and wise that you shouldn't spend one second more not fully knowing it in every bit of your being.

(Easier said than done, I know. But I will join with you in trying!)

lizzy said...

shattering, this.

from lara said...

ah that really is so perfect.

meg fee said...

@lizzy: shattering indeed.

and @moonboots: i imagine you're right--it will take a lifetime of lents. i love the idea of writing my way into self belief. such a strong beautiful thing to say.

Jessica said...

Oh, to be seen like that.

Jill said...

everything about this.

few can capture a moment or tell a story like you.

Marissa McLean said...

Or to quote Sylvia Plath: "Revelations do appear at the oddest of times."

Jenny McL said...

I have always (bar a few years) given up booze and chocolate. I will be giving up booze as I have an exam but self doubt is a big thing and I really like that. Maybe I'll join you and making drinking a cut back event!!