Lent Project -2: Fooling Around

Carnival masis hanging on a wall
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

You may be wondering why we went from Lent -4 to Lent -2. Sunday’s aren’t a part of Lent, so I usually don’t post on Sundays. But it’s not even Lent yet, so the countdown is going to look wonky because there’s the time-shift in there. Just in case you were wondering. It appears that I didn’t respect this time off in previous years posts, but that was because there was more Carnival shenanigans for me to write about. Rio isn’t having any Carnival activities. Venice is, but with COVID considerations intact. And Venice carnival kind of includes masks already, so there’s not a huge culture shift. But, like at $dayjob, we don’t talk about what we don’t do, we talk about what we do.  And it’s Monday now, so we continue our journey to Lent. There’s seriously a tonne of fodder to choose from today! It’s Family day in Ontario. It’s Rosemontag in the German Karnival.

To the glorious tradition of the Fool’s Call, then. On Rosenmontag, there are parades in Germany, similar to the parades in New Orleans on Mardi Gras. The crowds watching the parades always shout cheers. Many times, these cheers are about their pride in their community. Each community has their own fool’s call, that they chant to excite the crowd. Not that those parades are happening this year, thanks to COVID restrictions. Boo.

So how can one claim their membership in a community when you’re alone in your living room? Community can be many things. Your family, your neighbours, your social group, your work colleagues. Since it’s also Family day today (and it was just PALentine/GALentine/Valentine’s Day this weekend), Lets talk about how to celebrate your inner circle community. These are the people with whom we’ve spent all these eleventy thousand days of plague watch and days and weeks and months of quarantine lockdown cycles. The folks with whom exposure has you holding desperately onto your last unshattered nerve some days. The people for whom we summon the effort of trying to support and forge and grow loving relationships while we stare at each other on Zoom calls. Even when it feels too exhausting to type how your week is really going and yes, when this is all over the frosty beverages will be epic. So as we prepare for Lent, I’m thinking about what I can give up/put down/yeet right out of my life so that I can develop more genuine communities. And what that looks like in the time of cholera COVID. And what it looks like to develop a better relationship with myself, while I’m at it.

This Lent, may our affection be generous across the board.

Extra Credit:

The calls you’ll hear at Carnival – and what they mean

Also: I’ve created landing pages for the last 2 years of Lent Project. You can access them from the Reflections Projects option in the menu bar. Happy reading, friends!

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