The 80th day of my 100 Day Challenge happens to fall on Palm Sunday. By this point, my friends have noticed that I am no longer strictly observing my “diet” of black. I explain to them that my scarves are beautiful and that my intention in beginning the capsule challenge was not to state that wearing black was superior, although many people who wear all black (e.g. fashion mavens) adopt a superior air. My intention was to become comfortable in black, a color I had banish, to use a capsule wardrobe for longer than 10 days and to make getting dressed a simple act, instead of a complex act. I have just unpacked my chest of “spring” clothes, unfolding and hanging all sorts of pastel and lightweight tops and sweaters. I folded up the colorful but heavy weight clothes I not wearing at the moment anyway and packed them away until Halloween, when I can have the fun of “shopping” my own clothes out of the chest again. But Holy Week is a chance to wear the all black wardrobe another time with the serious intent that Holy Week provides.
My name, Gwendolyn, is a made up Victorian name for Merlin’s supposed abandoned wife. It has a Welsh flair and some dictionaries connect the meaning of Gwynne (white) to holiness. My favorite meaning of my name is “white forehead” or “holy intellect”. The word Holy creates some problems. Are the people wearing all black saying “holier than thou”? Why do people who are trying to incorporate holiness into their life often end up seeming so irritating and self-involved. Is holiness an attribute that people can have or generate or is it an attribute that is endowed on nature and that we share by sharing in nature? If a creator looks at their created works and says “It is good”, is that the moment when the holiness is sparked? Is my desire to pull away from the sordid, fast and shallow parts of our current lifestyle as Americans, which I have characterized as a quest for the “real”, actually a search for those parts of life that could, in some moments, be considered holy? This is the time of year to consider this, isn’t it?