Friday, March 14, 2008

get in shape, the Orthodox way!

You too can get in shape, with our patented, simple regimen:
  1. Don't eat anything. Don't drink anything either, if it can be avoided.
  2. Spend a couple of hours each night in church,
    • standing more or less continually (no whining about feeling weak from #1)
    • prostrating often (ditto)
    • bowing to the floor incessantly (what, you were already feeling light-headed?)
    • singing almost non-stop (dry throat? what dry throat?)
  3. Also extend your private prayer times at home, with any or all of the elements from #2.
  4. Which means, of course, that you should be getting less sleep. (Feeling drowsy? Try standing . . . or bowing . . . or prostrating . . . )
  5. Oh, you can eat on Wednesday night, but late, and you'll need two services to make up for it. And don't eat too much (not that you can, with a stomach shrunken from three days without food and a throat so dry that well-cooked pasta can feel like broken glass).
  6. Don't worry--it gets much better after the first week (seriously).
I say this, knowing myself to be a world-class wuss (huh--no flags in the spell-checker on that word), who didn't make it the full three days without food, who attended only one service all week and still fidgeted, rolled my feet on their sides to ease the soreness, and had to resist looking at my watch. But what's the point of having standards, if they don't give you something to work up to, right?

I also say it, wishing I could have done more with the first week of Lent. I discovered that I have too much anger. (This is one of my favorite scenes from the Joan Cusack movie High Fidelity. [PROFANITY WARNING: There are a few instances of the dreaded f-word in this clip; if that bothers you, don't play it.]

While it didn't go anywhere near as far into absurdity, I had my own mock confrontation play out in my head earlier this week, which I suppose wasn't anything terribly new, but it surprised me to realize it had happened.) G. I. Joe used to say, "Knowing is half the battle," but I'm not sure I've moved on to the other half.

I also wish I could have prayed more, been in more services, paid more attention to the needs of those around me, etc. Five more weeks to get it right, I guess.


Julie said...

JOAN Cusack movie????! I think not!

Trevor said...

Everyone knows John Cusack has been riding his sister's coat-tails for pretty much his whole career. Ever notice that she's in almost every movie he is? (Maybe not some of the crappy ones, of which I might note, there are plenty.) Yet she's in several movies without him. So obviously, he's the one who needs her to get any kind of a decent gig.

Julie said...