Thursday, March 13, 2008

Slowly, surely...

The last few days have been slow. I was going to write about Lent here, but I won't - not at the top. Most people don't come here to read the religious stuff, and the fact that I'm in Lent doesn't change why everyone else comes here :) It just changes me, or at least how I think.
The fun thing is cooking. Jelly is a good thing - just find some that's vegetable derivative, add fruit, and set in plastic cups in the fridge. Fassolada is always yum, the beans are soaking now, to be made into soup tomorrow. I've discovered a wealth of yummy vegan cooking, and it's fun. It's just also hard. I used to skip meals all the time, and it was easy. Now that I have to consciously think about what I'm eating, I always feel hungry!

School is starting to actually get busy. Mum was home today, and I had a video that needed watching before class - you know how in school you'd spend a lesson watching a video? Well, we only have an hour a week for each subject in 'class', so we watch the videos in our own time. On VCDs. Mum's a history teacher, and it was a history video, so she and I watched it, and that was good. Lent is a good time to spend in Church - we have three services on weekdays (at least), as well as the Saturday evening and Sunday morning services that we always have. So Church last night - like Mass, but without the consecration, done instead with the Eucharist kept from Sunday because the rules say you can't do the consecration on weekdays during Lent, tonight was the long evening prayer service (which I love), and tomorrow is the Akathist - hymns honouring the Theotokos (Mary) for being the Mother of God. Yay, Church. I'm always so much happier having been to Church.

I have a huge amount of homework to do tomorrow though. And it really needs to get done tomorrow, Saturdays always get busy by accident, and it needs doing soon. Sundays are not for schoolwork - it just doesn't happen. I end up at Church for too much of it! I'd like to do some sewing too, but I don't think it will happen.

Here's my list:
  • do math homework from textbook
  • do practice Maths test
  • sort out Jeremy officially being my Maths supervisor
  • do the second half of the calculations for a big assignment, and then write it up as the assignment after getting Dad to check it
  • do history notes from textbook (a couple chapters)
  • do history notes from workbook (a few pages)
  • do the questions on one page
  • do history notes from the next video
  • find another source for an essay on the home front during WWII
  • interview my grandmother for the above essay
  • photocopy the other source I found
  • start writing it!
  • write interview questions for studies of society
  • ask Dmitri if I can interview him, and someone else (Father? Nikki? Despina?)
  • interview people
  • write notes
  • draft article
  • do s.o.s. homework.
And that's just the homework!
Other things:
  • make fassolada
  • make anzac biscuits for me, and for dmitri
  • work on cleaning my room
  • throw out junk
  • feed + water the rats
  • plan a menu so I don't end up eating pasta every night
Wish me luck!

Lent is...interesting. You wouldn't think that just changing how I eat would make such a difference, but I think part of it is that it's more than just what we eat. There's a quote from one of the Fathers (Saints of the Church who we refer to, and quote, a LOT, and yes, there are Church Mother's too), St John Chrysostom who lived in the 4th century. It says:

The value of fasting consists not in abstinence only from food, but in a relinquishment of sinful practices, since one who limits his fasting only to an abstinence from meat is one who especially disparages it. Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works. If you see a poor man, take pity on him! If you see a friend enjoying honor, do not envy him. For let not the mouth only fast, but also the eye, and the ear, and the feet, and the hands, and all members of our bodies. Let the hands fast by being pure from avarice. Let the feet fast by ceasing from running to forbidden spectacles. Let the eyes fast by being taught never to fix themselves rudely upon handsome countenances. For looking is the food of the eyes, but if it be unlawful or forbidden it mars the fast and overturns the safety of the soul; but if it be lawful and safe, it adorns fasting. For it would be an instance of the highest absurdity to abstain from meats and unlawful food because of the fast, but with the eyes to feed on what is forbidden. Do you eat flesh? Do not feed on licentiousness by means of the eyes. Let the ear fast also. The fasting of the ear is not to receive evil speaking and calumnies. "You shall not receive an idle report," it says. Let also the mouth fast from foul words. For what does it profit if we abstain from birds and fish, and yet bite and devour our brethren?

Especially that last line. I knew this quote, and then Father read it out tonight and it's just so poignant. This season is about more than food, and I'm learning that rapidly.

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