Today's Ash Wednesday, and as a non-religious sort, that means at least once today I was surprised by the smudge on a stranger's forehead*, but not much else. I'm intrigued, though, by the way all sorts of folks have popularized Lent as a sort of temporary New Year's, a time for resolutions that you only have to keep for 40 days. Some give up Facebook, others, carbs. I've toyed with the idea, since I'm always game for self-improvement exercises, but this is one that just doesn't resonate with me. And you know what? I'm ok with that. I love cultural fusions and sharing, I love finding what works for me in the systems of others. But it's also kind of cool that there's a tradition that's got nothing to do with me, that means so much to a certain subsection of the faithful. I don't judge the apropriators one bit, and I like watching what they come up with. But I'll sit this one out. Come my birthday, though, and you'll see me make resolutions a-plenty.
*Today, at work, a colleague and I reminsced -- in vivid detail -- about watching Robert Novack, years ago, on Crossfire on Ash Wednesday. His smudge was melting down his forehead, under the TV studio lights.