Lent 16: Ides of March

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I know, Sunday’s aren’t *actually*  Lent. But somehow I got a day behind again, so I’m catching up. Today’s kind of build’s on Friday’s though, so that’s a happy coincidence.

Once upon a time (but an actual really real time), a guy named Plutarch showed up on Julius Caesar’s doorstep. Plutarch thought perhaps the day of the March full moon would not be an auspicious day at work.

Plutarch said “Hey Jools, my spidey-senses are tingling. Maybe we should just blow off work and head to the Roman Baths today.”

Caesar rolled his eyes and told Plutarch that was a bunch of hooey, he had some big meetings planned. So Caesar went to work only to get shanked in the back by his frenemy Brutus and his co-workers.

I could be paraphrasing. It’s definitely possible. I get it, some days are definitely more stabby than others. Sometimes you see a friend speeding headlong into unpleasant circumstances before you realize what’s happening. Sometimes, you have the chance to help put on the brakes, and sometimes, you have to show up with a shopvac, a magnet wand, and duct tape to help clean up the mess. The skill is to know which person you have to be.

But back to the Ides.

For better or worse, since Julius Caesar’s sucky day at work, there have been lots of assassinations, some more scandalous than others, but the dates of those events aren’t as cursed as the Ides of March. There’s an ides in every month; it’s the day of the first full moon. But the term died out when the 7 days of the week actually had widely-accepted names attached to them. 1500 years later some cheeky upstart named William Shakespeare resuscitated Ides of March as a hook in one of his plays. Now, it’s rarely seen without the preface ‘Beware the…’ and it has the gravitas of an ancient curse.

Being a wordnerd, I know the power of words. I marvel when I hear the fruits of a talented speech writer’s labour. I delight in the words of my favourite authors. I know how to write compelling letters, and moving tributes, and funny anecdotes. I mostly try to use my superpower for good. But I also know that I could cause damage with them if I wanted to. When I want to, I need to stay away from the keyboards and sit on my hands to wait until the lava settles back into the volcano. But yeah, some days are definitely more stabby than others.

This Lent, may I be careful how I take information out of context and avoid blowing things out of proportion. This Lent, may I use my words for good.

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