It horrifies me to put this statement somewhere as greedy as the Internet, but nonetheless: throughout lent, I am going to post once a day!  Hopefully I will do better at keeping my lent promise this year than I did last.

Lent 2011: Give up overfeeding the cat.  This was going to be magnificent: I would feel the responsible owner of a lithe, muscular feline, and Tycho would feel like a kitten again, spilling over with energy and abundant love for the waking world.  The results, I think, speak for themselves.

Day One:

Day Forty:


So anyway, my family belonged to the United Church in our tiny town, which is like the EZ Rock version of religion.  Jesus was a helpful, honey-voiced neighbour.   Tang was served to the under-10s in styrofoam cups which were rinsed and reused week after week under the hawk-eye of the UCW (United Church Women – mess with them, risk dish duty).  The communion bread was cut into right-angled sugarcubes with an electric knife, and served alongside thimblefuls of Welch’s Grape Medley.  And every year we tried more or less to give up pie and cake and sugar for forty days, then, on Palm Sunday, we celebrated the end of lent by parading the church aisles with broad-leaf ferns in our fists.  Jesus had returned from the desert; we had returned to dessert.  Everyone was all the holier for it!

Only when I became the semi-adult I am today did I begin to understand that lent isn’t specific to giving up dessert.  People make all kinds of crazy sacrifices to bring them closer to an empathetic ideal (the thing I love about that list is that it places “a popcorn kernel in your shoe every day” at the same level of personal hardship as “getting to know your neighbours”.  And how!)

So this is my sacrifice, of sorts.  I like the hour between 5 and 6 am, popularly known (in my head) as Unpublished Hour, because that’s the time when unpublished authors all around the world drag their mangled, solitary corpses from bed and work on their unpublished novels.  And the antidote to unpublished novels?  Immediate, gloriously published blog posts.