F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
Exactly. Here’s what I am (barely functionally) struggling with: For those of us who wish to honor Lent, how can we both acknowledge this season of impending death and celebrate its fecundity, its sweetness, its abundance? How do we better celebrate Lent’s spring-ness? What ritual could better embrace this Lenten paradox? Because giving up chocolate for forty days doesn’t cut it for me any more. Nor had receiving pussy willows on Palm Sunday when I went to a Unitarian Sunday school. Nope.
In her remarkable memoir, Lost & Found: A Memoir,
Kathryn Schulz struggles with this, too. Still missing her beloved father, she marries the love of her life. And throughout her remarkable, seamless wedding day (well, okay, there had been a tornado warning), she was exquisitely aware of how she was experiencing both incredible grief and unadulterated joy. (Schulz has lots to say about and/&)
How do we hold two disparate ideas—and then get up the next morning to do it all over again? An answer came to me recently walking past a neighborhood grocery store which did not survive the shutdown. While grieving its loss, a “small, still voice” counseled: “Love it all.”
Sounds like a plan.