Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mid-February Convergences

Happy (?) Valentine's Ash Wednesday! Every once and again Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday coincide, and while neither ordinarily are important observances for me, their convergence leads to a burst of daft churchy humor that I find irresistible for its skewering of the more extreme sentiments of both holidays. YMMV, of course.


Seriously, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a seven-week churchy season of self-improvement through fasting, prayer, penitence, and charitable giving. The season ends on Easter, which this year falls on April Fool's Day, another convergence. Ahem. At Church of the Improv one Lenten goal is to fast from using plastic. First steps include avoiding single-use plastic shopping bags and refusing plastic drinking straws at home and in restaurants. Easy-peasy – I already have an ever-expanding collection of reusable shopping bags and, on the rare occasions when I use straws, have some re-usable stainless steel ones. (I note the experience of bumping a metal straw against mouth or teeth, even very gently, greatly reduces any desire to use straws!) Anyway, MY big challenge is I'm still struggling with the vast amounts of plastic I use for stash storage. In the nine years since I started worrying in public about the matter, I have yet to find a good alternative. Hm.

Meanwhile, after much hemming and hawing, I discarded my previous plan and cast on my first Ravellenics project, a re-visit of Supporter's Socks by Linda Pankhurst. The first time around I used my own handspun; this time I'm using Fortissima Alpaka (and not liking the way it sheds). As I'm knitting along with Team BBMF, I'm fortified with my very own mini-Beyoncé and themed Sbux card. (To exactingly correct readers: Yes, I'm aware the Year of the Rooster gives way to the Year of the Dog in two days.)

Ravellenics Supporter's Socks wip

The sock is also my first foot of the new year, yet another convergence. While it's not-normal to have waited six weeks to start my first foot, it's excitingly normal to be knitting along. The last few months years have been so difficult and have passed in such a rapid blur, it's quite the treat to sit and knit, and it's in that spirit of gratitude with which I'll start my Lenten journey today.

Edited to add the hideous news of a school shooting today, this one in Florida. I like to believe a better world is possible, that such sickening acts of violence are not-normal, but they have become so frequent and active shooter training for schoolchildren has become so common that it's clear the failure is not of imagination, but of political will. And that's a cause for repentence this sad evening.

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