So, yes, this morning I draped the former Valentine's Day, former Christmas tree with colorful and shiny beads, and now it is the Mardi Gras tree! I began the celebration early (but not earlier than people in New Orleans) yesterday, when I forgot to eat breakfast before it was time to go to work and had a bit of the Chocolate & Nut Frenzy on my way out the door. (Just a handful, OK? A few chocolate-covered raisins and cashews. As a breakfast, that's not so bad. Cashews are evidently so good for our teeth that a cashew toothpaste has been in development for some time, but, ew....)
On my way home, I stopped by the Borders store closing sale, and, yes, here began the real indulgence, and perhaps I will now have to give up something for Lent. Books. Not reading them, of course, just buying them. It makes perfect sense. Don't buy another book, no matter how good the sale price, until I read all the unread books in the house. And then, like so many sensible people, go to the library.
Already, I quibble with myself: What about the books already in my cart at Amazon, that I can get free with the coupon that comes when I pay my credit card bill? Nope. Wait till after Easter.
So, at Border's I allowed myself three Christmas items drastically reduced: a box of beautiful Japanese bird cards and the Tori Amos and Pink Martini Christmas CDs, to wean myself off James Taylor and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Christmastime. I had just filled my latest personal journal, which is why I went to the Borders sale in the first place, and the nicest journal left was the Desire journal, with lock and key, that has steamy quotations in it. I can write with that.
And the books I got were the ones I told myself this about: "If these happen to be on the shelf, I will get them. They probably won't be there." But they were: Cloud Atlas and Ghostwritten, by David Mitchell.
"You must change your life," said Rilke. So that's what I keep doing. I worked as an actor, wrote for an encyclopedia, edited a literary magazine, and taught college English courses. Now I write poetry, blog "eight days a week," and listen to birdsong.