Profanity is sneaky. It slides into empty spots in conversation like a banana slug, slowly over time until you get used to it. When I am overwhelmed and tired sometimes it is just easier to use a swear word or three rather than get in touch with the right words to describe my real feelings.
|Prayer card found in my Grandmother's bible|
I learned to swear from my sister when I was 10. She methodically taught me every curse word she had learned from my brothers and being as good student, I memorized them with gusto, not understanding their meaning but liking the forbidden sounds. My mother was furious when she heard me. Using her strongest term, she said she was "Sore as a boiled owl" at my sister, a colorful phrase I am personally trying to resurrect in place of other colorful phrases I am known to use. I've decided that I will need the help of a saint to intercede on my behalf and assist me in maintaining my resolve.
Most people don't know that Joan of Arc is the Patron Saint of Profanity. Instead we know her as the Patron Saint of Soldiers, martyrs, captives, the military, prisoners of war and women who have served their country. She was born in France in 1412 and her full name was Jeanne d' Arc... no, she did not build the Ark...Noah did and that's a future blog. Only the French, who had tried everything and failed would allow an illiterate farm girl claiming she had hear the voice of God, to take charge of the country's army and lead it to victory against the English. It is a remarkable story if you consider Joan was 17 years old when she became the heroine of France. Later she was captured and burned at the stake as a heretic by the English in 1431 for not renouncing the voices she heard and her resulting actions.
|Jeanne d' Arc in Prayer After Battle|
So, I recall my mother's favorite sayings. Make a vow to incorporate them into my vocabulary in place of my more commonly used phrases..."On the Peck" "How the Cow Ate the Cabbage" "Pinch a Loaf" "Oh,Spit" "Acknowledge the Corn" "Addlepated" "Copacetic" "Even and Odd Ate the Cake" Knowing 40 days means a really long time, I'm more than a little nervous about being successful in my quest. So like Joan, I get on my knees and pray humbly before all to stay focused, calm and clear about my petition, remembering St. Joan's saying "I am not afraid. I was born to do this".