Happy Mardi Gras, Fasching, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday or whatever you call it…

Oh such memories of Tuesdays filled with God knows what. I have never been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, although I have been to N’awlins plenty… But I have had more than one very Mardi Gras I can tell you.

One of my very, very best Fat Tuesday experiences was in Villingen-Schwenningen, a town in the Black Forest region of Germany. It was crazy and so much fun – the photos tell the story!

Then, like some cruel game of musical chairs  – the party stops.

It is Lent. No place to sit.

Today we are in a lush, colorful land, filled with sparkly objects and noise. It is filled with shiny things that delight and distract me.

Tomorrow I shall round a bend into the desert, stark, looming and so silent. It seems dead, but I know that it is filled with life. The silence is a reminder of all the sound within me. That sound asks to be made still. This is easier said than done.

I like what Anne Lamott says about the desert in Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith:

“Father Tom loves the desert. A number of my friends do. They love the skies that pull you into infinity, like the ocean. The love the silence, and how, if you listen long enough, the pulse of the desert begins to sound like the noise your finger makes when you run it around the rim of a crystal glass. The love the scary beauty – snakes, lizards, scorpions, the kestrels and hawks. The love the mosaics of water-swashed pebbles on the desert floor, small rocks that cast huge shadows, a shoot of vegetation here, a wildflower there.”

I know that I do love the desert. New Mexico. Arizona. Nevada. Texas. California. Israel. Jordan. I have never been in a desert that I did not love, a desert that – in its barrenness did not somehow fill me, but fill me differently.

The desert fills me with my own emptiness to ponder and pray with. That is Lent, for me.

Here are some of my own desert images…

The desert at Petra, Jordan, taken by me in July 2006.

Here is the desert at Wadi Rum, Jordan, taken by me, earlier that same day.

 And here is Arizona… the silence is remarkable at the Grand Canyon.


7 thoughts on “Happy Mardi Gras, Fasching, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday or whatever you call it…

  1. Fran, as usual…so beautiful. You give me much to consider and ponder this Lent. "It seems dead, but I know it is filled with life." That is lovely. I adore Anne Lamott. I love how she's so messy and crazy and it doesn't stop her. She just digs right back in. She really just brings the desert to life, huh?


  2. Beautiful pictures. I ended up baking cookies tonight for Fat Tuesday for the Episcopal Diocese Council meeting this weekend. They requested people to bake them, but I know I did it partly to eat dough and a few cookies. Since I didn't go to the church's Shrove Tuesday pancake supper (by myself since CB was teaching), I gave myself permission to get off my supposed Weight Watcher diet and splurge. But tomorrow I deliver the cookies, which is good since it's Ash Wednesday.


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