“Profanity today may mean anything from bad taste to weak vocabulary to a superficial talent for doing as the Romans do.” Helen Valentine & Alice Thompson Better Than Beauty
I love Ash Wednesday. Growing up in a Jewish household (my mother converted when she married my XSD; though my father took us to the Presbyterian church) I was always jealous when one Wednesday, a whole bunch of Catholic kids would disappear from school and return an class period later with ashes on their forehead. I thought that was the coolest thing in the world, even cooler than POGS.
So when I started going back to church a few years ago, I was overjoyed that they were doing imposition of the ashes. Growing up, I thought only Catholics got to get ashes. So I went and when Rev. Mark drew the cross on my forehead, a little thrill went through me. It was the thrill of doing something new, something that seemed forbidden and hidden when I was growing up.
I gave up swearing for Lent. Not only for this project, but because I wanted to give up something I do every day that I truly enjoy. I could give up chocolate, yes, but I don’t eat chocolate every day. Swearing is something that is unbecoming in most company, clutters up my language, and makes me lazy. Already today I caught myself inserting an F-bomb into a just an ordinary sentence, and I stopped myself, and I felt good. There are better, more creative ways to express myself.
And if I do swear, I’ll make a checkmark. Every check = $1, and on Easter Sunday, I’ll donate that much money to my church as my Easter offering.
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