Quaresma

In these here “modern” days, mainline Catholics, they be thinkin’ that, for Lent, they need to “give up,” for de Lord, something like a “vice.”

Like. Say. Typically. These days. Drink. Drugs. Fucking.

Or, if they be not lucky enough to count such thingsthe horror the horror among their “vices,” some vanilla substitute. Like—and I kid you not—Oreos.

Such horseshit.

I know this to be horseshit, from communion with Jesuits, and with the Irish. Who—pace silent peasant women lighting candles before Mary; and these women of the true faith, glory be onto the highest, they never do of such things speak—are as Catholic as Catholic do get.

And what these people do say is that Lenting ain’t got nothing to do with no “vices.”

That, instead, in Lent, the believer should strive to eschew that which serves to separate s/he from god. (Understanding, always, that god, is, in fact, s/he.) What might make the soul feel so cold and alone. Under the Milky Way, tonight.

Drink, drugs, fucking—even Oreos—these are not always separators from the divine.

Indeed, such pursuits can actually quite often bring one closer, to oneness with creation.

If they do not: really, it’s just because u r doing it wrong.

That’s all.

Ruminating, this pre-Lenten season, on what I myself to do cling, that most separates me from the divine, I divined that what I must needs most cast, in Lent, to the wind, is this: sanity.

Two reason for this.

First, the lord of the Catholic hosts, he is himself, mad as a hatter.

A deity who—to give just one well-known example— demanded that a 600-year-old man build a boat and then populate it two-by-two with every creature on earth (except the unicorn), because he was so appalled by his own creation he decided to drown ALL the shit under massive muddy waters . . . saving only a slim seed-hoard of all the animals, plus 600-year-old lifetime lazy drunk Noah, and his family.

Noah then, once the watery holocaust had at last receded, proving himself such the righteous dude that as soon as the boat docked, he got himself royally pissed and then passed out in his tent with his penis exposed, said penis then viewed by his children, causing such a massive freak-out that one of his kids actually turned black. And ran screaming, blackened, cursed, let's gointo another land. Which, for 6900 years or so, was cited as Reason why it was OK to slap black people into chains.

If anything has ever been nutbag on the storm, it is this.

And you’re gonna say that a dude like that can be understood if one is sane?

“No way,” as Pike Bishop did say, when he at last understood there was no other way, no way at all, but to deliberately walk directly into the maelstrom. “No way at all.”

Second, all the best people, have had flipped lids, when they best appreciated the divine.

From Lew Welch, to William Blake. From the pilgrim to Mt. Hood, to the sacrifice of Odd Man Out. From bending all worlds, and all reality, to save the time-missed lover, to, with same, saving all prayer.

As Johnny Rotten, sorta did say: “i want to be/of their sanity.”

So, for the 44 days of Roman Catholic Lent, I plan to go insane. Like I always do.

Maybe this time it will take.

And another thing. There has become this stunted tradition that, during Lent, one, if one is Catholicing, is not supposed to play or hear “Gloria In Excelsis Is Deo.”

Mountainous horseshit.

“Gloria,” in truth, is to be sung, and heard, all of the day, and all of the night. Every day of the year.

For. Truth be told. Always and forever. “God,” he is not a he. God is, in Reality, Goddess. “He,” is a she. And her name is

and she comes around here
just about midnight
and she make me feel so good
make me feel alright

gloria in excelsis deo
gloria in excelsis deo

i want to shout it every night
i want to shout it every day

gloria in excelsis deo
gloria in excelsis deo

she make me feel so good
make me feel alright

and her name is

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33 Responses to “Quaresma”


  1. 1 Miep March 15, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Well, turning off one’s cell phone for two hours a day might well do it for some people (i.e., drive them temporarily insane). I couldn’t find the bit about oreos, though I did note a comment about candy and fried chicken.

    But aren’t you getting Lent confused with Beltane? I say, bring back Beltane. We screwed up when we stopped ritualizing these madnesses. All we have left is Carnival and the Renaissance fairs, mere crumbs of their formal glory.

    I continue to see mad people as holy. Carry on.

    • 2 bluenred March 16, 2014 at 12:24 am

      There is no confusing Lent with Beltane. They do not touch at any point.

      Lent is more or less a chastity belt. No such thing was required in the days leading up to Beltane.

      Carnival—Mardi Gras, etc.—came into being with the puritan delusion that one must eschew pleasurable sense-disorientation in the days leading up to the rolling away of the stone.

    • 4 bluenred March 16, 2014 at 12:28 am

      And here are the Oreos, from the Oreo link embedded in the piece:

      So maybe your mom was on to something when she had you give up Oreos or your favorite TV show as a child. An experience of want, however temporary, can help us to appreciate the true abundance in our lives. And a small positive change can have a big impact that lasts beyond the 40 days of Lent.

      • 5 Miep March 16, 2014 at 12:57 am

        Oh, I don’t know I missed that. I’m so blind sometimes. Often, perhaps. Thanks.

        • 6 Miep March 16, 2014 at 1:01 am

          I don’t know *how* I missed that. I didn’t used to leave words out all the time. Maybe it’s Lent all the time for me now.

          • 7 bluenred March 16, 2014 at 2:36 am

            It’s age. Age is eroding our brains.

            It’s built in. Part of the long fade.

            It is why some people are all fired-up about melding bodies with machines. So we can all be immortal. And we’ll never, ever forget “how,” even in our 245,098th year.

            Sounds good. When envisioned applied to us only. But it also means Darth Cheney will be around for 245,098 years. Banging the drum, forever and ever and ever, to kill and kill and kill and kill and kill.

            • 8 Miep March 16, 2014 at 3:01 am

              If I was in charge, I’d insist on being buried in a forest, so all the fungi could feed me to the trees. The way it should be. And none of that wretched preserving. Horrible, just horrible.

              I can deeply understand people who hike around way out in the mountains around here, and wish to go to their deaths taking one last bad chance and failing, falling, falling to the rocks. Crushed and broken, eaten by birds, and later varmints.

              If you dived right and fell on your yead, that could be all right.

              • 9 Miep March 16, 2014 at 3:03 am

                I meant “head.” I think. But maybe it would be better to fall on your yead, since “yead” is not as far as I know a word. So maybe that wouldn’t be so painful.

              • 10 bluenred March 16, 2014 at 3:12 am

                You don’t want to live forever and ever, with your brain downloaded into a machine, clanking through the centuries, or maybe just existing as a wisp in a tube in the intertubes—but! singular! consciousness! uber! alles! —continuing on and on and on, with whatever it is, that you’re on and on and on about?

                • 11 Miep March 16, 2014 at 3:30 am

                  I didn’t say that I wanted to live on and on forever and ever. I said I wanted the trees to eat me.

                  I don’t believe in soulful individual identities that go on forever. I think these are confused constructs. I don’t think it’s important to worry about existing beyond death as identifying as Miep. I think all of that is kind of strange and funny.

                  I don’t know what happens when one dies. It might be quite magical.

                  • 12 bluenred March 16, 2014 at 4:53 am

                    Even the Science Men now agree that the universe is composed mostly of “dark matter/energy.” And my colleague, in her brilliance, identified this as “desire.” And what springs from this desire is the vast mass undifferentiated consciousness seeking to incarnate into individual beings. To live in a body that can smell and see and hear and taste and touch.

                    Of course, once the decision is made, it is realized that it is a great mistake. Which is why every baby cries.

                    And every person spends a lifetime seeking to connect with—love—other beings. To recapture the wholeness of what we came from.

                    Restlessness, it seems, is in the universe the norm. An individual incarnated being: yearning towards the whole. An undifferentiated mass of beings: yearning to split off into an individual.

                    heigh-ho
                    nobody home
                    meat nor drink nor money have i none
                    yet
                    will
                    i
                    be
                    merry . . . .

  2. 14 Miep March 16, 2014 at 12:59 am

    I would think that being expected to arbitrarily give up something I enjoyed and was used to, as a child, but only temporarily, would come off as some kind of random sociopathic punishment.

    • 15 bluenred March 16, 2014 at 2:43 am

      Judeo-Christian scripture is full of random sociopathic punishments. So is the Koran.

      Then you have the eastways droolers: Buddhists. Who self-flog. Unless they’re round-eyes, who latch onto a belief system they can never hope to understand. But decide that, since life is suffering and illusion, it means they can fuck over whoever they want, as hard and as bad and as nasty as they want. There is no more foul being on the planet than an American Buddhist. Exhibit A: buhdydharma. Exhibit B: ek hornbeck.

  3. 16 Miep March 16, 2014 at 5:41 am

    If you want to talk, we can talk. I spend a lot of time talking to people on the Internet. I talk to people I like talking to. I like talking to you. You ring some bells for me. That matters.

  4. 17 poco March 17, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    This was great writing, blueness! The post and the comments. Slightly surreal and slightly flying off in various directions as if there were no center, yet with a strong flow thread running all through.

    Of course, that could merely be my response, since Western music and western movies and pop culture are all a closed book to me, so i may be missing a lot of incredibly meaningful references which would pull all of this together.

    I have always thought that giving up smoking, or drinking, or chocolates for Lent seems rather counterproductive. Abstaining from tobacco, alcohol or sweets is obviously very good for your health, so how is giving them up in any sense, a way of punishing yourself?

    • 18 bluenred March 18, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      Hi poco. Thanks for dropping by!

      “Slightly surreal and slightly flying off in various directions as if there were no center, yet with a strong flow thread running all through”: why, thank you. ; )

      Tobacco, alcohol, sweets may not be good for you, but they bring pleasure. In the Puritan version of Lent, it is assumed one should dutifully eschew pleasure.

      Balderdash.

      Jesus, he was into pleasure.

      Ask Mary. And Martha.

      As say Sister Re:

  5. 19 sally March 25, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    I love youse guys and all the wondrous thoughts and ideas that come from youse guys! I caught a small black spider in an unwashed spaghetti sauce jar as he hung from my super high dining room ceiling on Sunday. I put him outside in the oregano pot hoping the garlic and oregano would attract a mate for him. I have vowed to kill no spiders for Lent —actually for forty days and then For Ever. Long ago in the spring on the way to Knight’s Ferry in the Bookmoblile, tarantulas would be crossing the road in search of love and sex and I would scream at the driver not to run over any of them. It was a very rocky ride and I would get car sick, but one is supposed to suffer for Lent. Giving up killing tarantulas for Lent was still easier than the year I gave up eating Rocky Road ice cream for breakfast — I only lasted 3 days on that one — I am excited that youse guys are back on a roll — I’m not quite with it yet… namaste


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