Dublin-based actor and writer from Kinsale, Tara Flynn is still haunted by memories of bacon sandwiches on Ash Wednesday!
Lent: does the concept mean anything to you?
Not anymore. I was raised Catholic but don’t practice at all. Lent used to mean a long, dreary time when spring hadn’t yet properly sprung, it was dark and now there was no chocolate to brighten things up. That said we lived out the country and only got sweets once a week, after school on a Friday, so in a way Lent was psychologically shorter for us than kids who lived near shops, with the treats practically taunting them out the windows. It was still long, though.
Do you have memories of Lent growing up?
My mother is a great user of leftovers – no waste in our house – and we once accidentally brought bacon sandwiches to school on Ash Wednesday, a day on which you’re not meant to eat meat at all or face eternal damnation or something. While it wasn’t eternal, another kid took it upon themselves to announce it to the class that we were sinners and we had to leave our sandwiches in shame. I’m vegetarian now. I’m sure it has nothing to do with it.
Are you giving anything up this year? Or maybe taking something up instead?
No New Year’s resolutions, no giving up anything for Lent. I gave up beating myself up with extremes long ago. They’re too exhausting and almost impossible to maintain. Instead, I try to do my best – for myself and to others – all year round. For me, it’s just gentler and more fun that way. But if you’re having a reflective cleanse this spring, go for it! We’re all doing our best.
•Follow Tara on Instagram on @taraflynnirl