Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday....

This morning, as I switching through channels, President Obama appeared talking about another stimulus package (he called last year's: Stimulus # 1) I was ready to switch channels......when the camera focused on VP Bidden. There he was, proudly wearing a small cross of ashes in his forehead. Yes, the VP is Catholic. Reminded me, right away, of all those years when we finished partying at dawn and went directly to church to get our ashes before crashing in bed! I am sure thousands did that this morning too.

Carnaval in Las Tablas is serious business. We all take part and we all have danced the nights away, sang a bit too loud, seen too many fireworks.....and YES, drunk a bit too much. You are only young once, they say, but when it comes to this celebration, age is not important. Since it is not a national holiday, people are back to work, barely (except in small towns where things don't get back to normal until next weekend!). There is a sense of emptiness and the place is strung with red paper from the firecrackers, remnants of material used in the floats, customs, empty bottles. The picking up job is monumental! All will be done in time and in preparation for the second round of festivities: first weekend in Lent!

In Curaçao people are getting back to normal too. Since the festivities did not last until dawn, Momo only takes a couple of hours to burn, many went to work today. Most stores and business are open and life has resumed its rhythm. There is an emptiness there too, but it will soon be filled with preparations for next year's Carnival or another event. The island is never idle when it comes to celebrations.

Here in Miami, we Catholics went to church for mass and to get our ashes. We then went about our business and then home. No sense of emptiness from something we have not had...what a waste! What is the purpose of asking forgiveness, for being told we are ash and to ash we shall return IF we didn't get to celebrate BIG, just one more time before Lent? For everyone else, this was just another Wednesday. There is no real fun here, I tell you.....

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