This is the threshold of the season of purgation. Never mind that "lent" simply meant "spring" -- now it means "a time of scrubbing up."
I understand that at one time folks spent the last few days before Lent using up all the lard that was on hand, so as to have no hot-blooded animal substance for sustenance during the 40 days of sacrifice and hardship before Holy Thursday. I know people who make "foss-naughts" -- a kind of fried doughnut -- to use up lard or shortening, though they have no religious belief. It's just what they do the couple days leading up to Mardi Gras.
Wickedly, on Fat Tuesday, I ate chips. Potato chips, corn chips. I partook of nasty boxed cheap macaroni. I will pay for this tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. And tomorrow I will begin my annual spring purge.
Tomorrow, I will eat no meat, unless it be fish, and as I have no fish, my day will be sustained by eggs and cheese. I will begin my Lenten purge by setting aside a part of my forty days in prayer and meditation. I need to do that. I need to re-establish my place in the Universe.
Some folks would say that means humbling oneself. I don't know about that. "What is Man that thou art mindful of him?" asks Scripture. Maybe it's time to stop saying that Humans are not mere biological anomalies but are holy creatures, admitting again that we combine the mysterious and inexplicable "matter" and the mysterious and inexplicable "spirit-soul".
It's like being willing to throw oneself onto the firey wheel of the sun. Prayer and spiritual growth are suttee, are being walled up in the tomb, are wandering in the desert without water. Something that leaves behind CNN and FOX News and finds its Truth in the spaces between incidents.
I'm clinging to my tasty wine and wicked snacks tonight, but I long for the clear sight of tomorrow.