Sprengidagur! Bursting Day! Yes, today is Bursting Day in Iceland, when you eat all the salted lamb (saltkjot) and pea soup you can eat. Or can’t eat. What other culture would call their day before Ash Wednesday “Bursting Day”? I don’t know, but Iceland continues to be AWESOME. The challenge is that being vegetarian, I probably won’t eat salted lamb (and I probably could get it in NYC, but I’m not going to try). But I WILL eat pea soup. And probably pancakes, too.
Today we eat! Eat everything! Eat all the things! Eat eat eat. Because we must prepare ourselves for the pain of emptiness. The fullness of emptiness. Eat until it hurts. Consume. Consume until it hurts. But the un-American thing is that we must consume to rid ourselves of all of this. Americans can’t get rid of anything. We must make sure we have a Costco or Wal-Mart or something nearby. We can’t just rid ourselves of our objects. We must have another nearby. Did you stock up? Because you can’t let yourself run out. No, we can’t run out. We can’t live like that.
Has it ever been American to consume everything until it’s gone without the belief that we can’t just go buy another thing? I don’t think so. That is a false consciousness of being American: that everything is just a shop away, just a store away. Because that’s where things are stored. We’ll just go to the store when we’re out.
But Lent is remembering that we are all out. The store is empty. And we are empty. We have nothing. There is nothing of us. We have eaten. We have burst. We have burst and we have run out of ourselves. Nothing to fill us.
I remember when Sandy came to New York City and soon certain shelves were empty and nothing was coming to replace them. I remember that every battery seemed to have disappeared. We survived unscathed, but others lost everything. Even if they stocked up, they lost everything. It was washed or blown or burnt away.
Eat what you can. Eat what you have. Because it will not come back. Enjoy it today because it will be gone tomorrow. Lent is coming. Eat all the salted lamb you can. Eat all the pea soup you can. Eat every pancake you can. Eat until you get sick. Eat it. It is Bursting Day. Eat until you burst.