Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Face the Potato

When I change, I am always surprised, almost alarmed. In this case, my attitudes towards food are releasing their old shapes and becoming something else entirely. My old rigidity is loosening and I'm not quite so tempted into believing that following rules will save me. Nutrition seems so scientific that I have never treated eating as an art. It is time for me to admit that I have to find my own way. Food is a huge area of my life where I can start literally feeding myself better.

Eating is not only an art, it is a way of participating in life, a key way of getting Fed rather than being devoured by the fast pace of things. I just watched the documentary "How to Cook Your Life" featuring Zen priest and chef Edward Espe Brown. Most of the film is about something I've been thinking a lot about lately--why cook? What is so special about food you cooked for yourself when you could just buy it across the street and save so much time? One of my favorite reasons Edward gives for cooking is "Let the hands be hands!" Hearing that, I suddenly felt fondness towards my hands and even a funny rising sense of obligation to let them be used to their fullest potential. While I couldn't cook tonight, I at least drove across town to where I know the food is loved, and bought myself the greenest possible salad at Farmer and the Cook. It tasted so good. My frequent eating out to save time and energy is perhaps a false simplicity, however organic and natural my choices are. Edward said, "We pay a lot of money to not have to face a potato."

I recommend watching at least this touching final scene from "How to Cook Your Life." (link below) Edward talks about how, in a low moment of deep frustration, even despair, cheery but dented teapots reminded him of the beauty of sincerity and presenting ourselves to the world with our dents and flaws unhidden.

Now let's go and sincerely face our potatoes.

The link to the clip is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MC5FUW5PEWo

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