2.20.2007

Fat Tuesday 2007: Sugar Free

It just so happens that I was in Venice for Mardi Gras in 1997. I had been working at a castle in Austria just then, and the town I was in offered a bus tour to Venice for the day. I didn't really want to go, but I was suddenly gripped by a "carpe diem" fever. The bus left at 4:30 a.m. and 6 long hours later, we were in Venice. I was there with a woman I didn't know - she was visiting the castle too. A pigeon pooped on her shoulder. In Venice. I don't know why that STILL makes me laugh 10 years later. I hope that she can laugh about it now.

It was cold and misty that day. It was that cold mist that sinks in and chills you to the core, especially when you're just wandering around in it. It took me the whole next day to warm up. We ate several times that day, just to be able to sit in a restaurant and warm up, and use their ultra short toilets. Seriously... 1 foot from the floor. I used an ATM in Venice... took out 75,000 lira. Sounds like a lot. Wasn't. Pizza cost 12,000 lira.

We didn't really have a plan that day... we walked around and went in buildings when we could. I suppose the true Mardi Gras festivities started later that night, but there were people dressed up wandering around. At one point, as dusk was gathering, I looked into a restaurant, and seated at the table by the window were about a dozen people all dressed in black capes, hoods and masks. I wanted to take their picture, but I was spooked by their appearance, and assumed they'd be up to no good later on. Or maybe they were accountants.

I'm thinking that we didn't really pursue "real" Mardi Gras happenings that day. We ate a lot, but that's not the kind of sinning that Mardi Gras was designed for. Nothing I've seen of Mardi Gras has ever made me want to participate. That it was that day I happened to be in Venice turned out to be incidental.

We got back on the bus at that same night and arrived back in Mittersill at 4:30 a.m. It was a long, uphill walk to the castle, then I stumbled into bed and slept until noon. It still seems like a very long, surreal 24 hours. I actually get tired again thinking about that day. Not just tired, but deep down weary...

Here's where the title fits in... FINALLY! I gave up sugar last week. This is day 7 with no sugary anything. My main reason for doing this is to break my addiction to sugar. Once I start eating cookies/candy/whatever I CANNOT STOP. Cold Turkey is the only way for me just now. I wanted to give up my addiction before Lent, because Lent is NOT about giving up sugar. Well, maybe it is if sugar keeps me from God, which maybe it does. If I were to get in the Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) frame of mind, I'd eat everything in sight today, and do all manner of sinning, and give it all up tomorrow for Lent. I don't think that's what God wants for us.

This post has turned out very somber... that was not my original intention, but perhaps that's ok... getting into the Lenten frame of mind to look soberly at my life and see what parts of myself I am keeping from God.

1 comment:

Nicola said...

I hear ya w/the sugar sistah. I just threw away a third of a box of organic dark chocolate truffles my mom gave us for valentines day. Cause when they're not in the garbage I have a very hard time eating _only_ a serving of three (which is not healthy even if they call it a serving!). So it's back to fruit and my half to one tsp. of agave nectar in a cup of tea for my 'fix'. Mmmm... tea. :D