Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lent & Lentils

Illustration of the Lentil Plant, 1885

When I posted "A song for Lent"
on facebook this morning,
my witty friend Len commented,
"Do you have a song for Lentils?"
Guess what? Such a song actually exists!

"You take some lentils and you take some rice"
by the Eurythmics

Who knew?!

As for my "song for Lent," most sources refer to it as a Christmas carol, but for me it is definitely Lenten:

"Remember O Thou Man!"

As in, Remember that from dust thou art and to dust thou shalt return! As in "Ashes to ashes; dust to dust." As in Ash Wednesday. I usually disapprove of gender exclusive language in liturgical texts, but this song is so beautiful that I make an exception.

Words and music by Thomas Ravenscroft
from “Melismata,” 1611

As for the six week Lenten season, my goals are

To give up "stuff" for Lent ~ one garbage bag full every week ~ to the trash, to Goodwill, to the Library, wherever it needs to go in order to be out of my house forever!

and though it may prove difficult,

To try giving up "Should have. Could have. Would have."

As in: "Oh, bosh! Should have. Could have. Would have. What an odious trio. When I was forced to keep to my rooms these past days, I made a promise to ignore those gloomy villains. I suggest you do the same." ~ by Philadelphia author Cordelia Biddle (from her novel, Deception's Daughter, 108).

and thanks to Len's suggestion,

3. to have Lentil Soup at least once a week!

There are many recipes from which to choose!E.g., Martha Stewart's Lentil & Bulgur


  1. Golly, whoever Len is he's got my vote! Now that I'm a veggie I'm in love with lentil soup. Try adding fresh chopped kale and a little lemon juice nxt time!
    As for Lent - giving up the "Me Program." I'll keep you posted how that goes. Love your blog as usual...Cate

  2. RE Lent / Lentils, I was saying to Len that it's like the time when I was writing about Batman and Elif Batuman's reference to a poem about bats and then I suddenly noticed the spelling of her name: BAT - u - MAN!

    Leonard wrote back: Kitti, I always enjoy unexpected linkages and juxtapositions; it is the basis for surrealism. I am honored to be credited in your excellent blog post. Normally, I would not notice Lent, but I like your list of what you are giving up as well as your resolution to have lentil soup weekly. It's impressive that anything I make up you have (such as a song for Lent). Now, whenever I spot the Batuman book, I will have to picture Batman. Such are the strange workings of the mind!

  3. Look for on youtube; not always available:

    Excellent a cappella rendition
    of the sacred anthem, "Remember O Thou Man"
    performed by Collegium Vocale Gent,
    conducted by Peter Dijkstra
    Begijnhofkerk, Sint-Truiden
    Flanders, Belgium

  4. For about 20 years now my main thing for Lent has been to give up ordering from amazon. I should be able to live for 6 weeks without clicking "place order"!

    Back in the pre - amazon days, I started this particular discipline by giving up mail order & 1 - 800 shopping. One day my neighbor Cate was out on the front porch with me when the mailman came by and I reached out to take my mail for the day, which included -- as always -- a stack of mail - order catalogs. She said,"Oh no you don't; I'll take these and put them straight in the re-cycling for you." I insisted that I wasn't going to order anything -- just look. She insisted that giving up shopping meant not looking as well as not purchasing. Her view made me take it a little more seriously.