Today is Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent and therefore my random resolution conceived of at the beginning of the year is upon me. Having watch Schindler's List (1993) again on Saturday as part of Sky's Oscar season I lost any temptation to moan about my choice or fail. It won 7 of it's 12 Oscar nominated categories and it is a shame that Liam Neeson didn't win best actor. Seeing it again reminded me of the importance of being strong, resolute and to care about others. I also am surprised Slumdog Millionaire won 8 Oscars. I do believe the cinematography was amazing and the musical score was good but I'm not a fan of the essence of the film so...
Anyway...I've done my plastic pop research into Lent and get the idea of soul searching, reflection and taking stock. It is all a bit 'heavy' if I go into too much detail but it is not a happy and uplifting time. There is varying guidance on observing length by the different churches. The Anglican church seems most light weight with an emphasis on giving up something you like e.g. chocolate. The Catholic church has specific fast days and encourages participation in hunger days where you have a light meal of soup and bread to set aside money for the poor. Whilst the Orthodox gives the most structure to the Lenten period and has five levels of fasting!
I decided to take something from everyone and create a make do style approach. I'm giving up coffee and chocolate. I will attempt when possible to have a hunger day and donate the money saved to charity and I've selected level four of the Orthodox churches fasting options which means abstaining from meat, eggs, milk, cheese, fish, oil and wine! The only good news is that Sunday is not counted as Lenten day so I can eat, drink and be merry with gluttony on a Sunday! Oh and the Sunday thing is RC and I'll be on for the RC and Protestant calendar too. The Orthodox Church runs to a different timetable. I'm all for inclusiveness!
Apparently meditation and prayer helps you get through this. Given I do neither this will be an interesting approach. One of my course books this term is Celebrity by Chris Rojek and his view on celebrity worship is due to the absence of spiritual guidance or the dominance of organised religion. Watch this space!
PS The last bit ref Rojek. It doesn't mean he is calling for organised religion in society he is merely debating the fact if God, monarchy and tyranny are dead as divine ruler then we have democracy (some poor peeps live under totalitarian states) yet we still gravitate towards the creation of 'god' like individuals in society - read the book!