The Soul of Porridge

I feel like such a predator harvesting the leaves off the lettuces you planted for me , says my sister Susan who only last week became a vegetarian.  All food has an energetic resonance according to my friend Wendy who has recently trained as a raw food chef in California. Carrots have been proven to  communicate with each other across a field, she told me and the energy surrounding their cultivation carries through to whoever consumes them.  Jain’s – the vegetarian wanderers of India who use a peacock feather to sweep insects away from the impending doom of their footseps would not eat a carrot; they do not eat vegetables in which the plant needs to be killed for their sustenance , according to William Dalrymple  in his interview with Jain Monk Prasanamati Mataji in the book Nine Lives.

Life is Life eating life; says Jospeh Campbell – and many rituals have grown up around hunters( and gatherers)  being forced to accept this fact everytime they kill a plant or animal.  Explorer Sir George Grey’s describes in his  1830 journal  (recorded  in Songlines  by Bruce Chatwin) the dance of  an Aborigine hunting a kangaroo:
“his graceful movements, cautious advance, the air of quietude and repose which pervade his frame when his prey his alarmed, all involuntarily call forth your imagination and compel you to murmur to yourself, ‘How beautiful! How very beautiful!'”

Wwoofing on an organic farm in Chiba japan, by  instruction, my friend Yoko and I would cut back the leaves of the weeds growing up around the heritage rice, careful not to disrupt the integrity of the soil crust with all its life forms, apologizing for the cut then thanking the weeds for providing green mulch to warm and shelter the emerging seedlings.

Awareness, consciousness, love and kindness arise from our relationships with food.

Today I am soaking oat groats hoping to sprout my own porridge on my Hong Kong balcony which I will respect in the spirit of the Jain ( whisking ants clear with my peacock feather), fertilize with the love of a Japanese organic farmer, and harvest with the poise, grace  and beauty of Sir George Grey’s Aborigine – saying a prayer of gratitude as I eat the porridge.

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7 Responses

  1. this is a lovely written entry…but I don’t think I can turn my back on a carrot even if they do have communicational skills

  2. Thanks Jacqui. I had some carrots mashed with parsnips and potatoes, and they were delicious. Who knows what life they had there in the field before they ended up in Welcome Hong Kong. I should maybe have asked my host for the carrot tops to plant to make the Mama carrot’s life all worthwhile ( this is HK where people believe that children are essential to tend your spirit after it moves from earth down to hell) On an evolutionary level – assuming our destiny is to propagate, or assist the survival of our own species, carrots are a success if they further this end. If cows hadn’t produced a milk that was digestible by humans they wouldn’t be here today. Carrots might be rainforest, cows a field of soy. So we might be doing things a disservice by not eating carrots if they have designed themselves through evolution to be eaten by humans. Eat that carrot happily.

  3. Such a joy to read.

    It would be wonderful if every vegetable or fruit eaten could leave behind its seeds etc. to grow and be harvested again and again…but GM plants won’t let that happen..will they?

  4. Funny you should say that Marie. Just watched food Inc – a video which shows farmers being sued for saving seed because it has been pollinated ( unintentionally mind you) by patented GM seed.

  5. thats what i meant by not turning my back on a carrot, i would still have to eat a carrot even if it may communication skills,

  6. now I have also turned to winnie the pooh , and found some other complimentary ways to health.
    ” Winnie the Pooh ….had made up a little hum that very morning as he was doing his Stouteness Exercises in front of the glass:..tra-la-la tra-la-la as he strecthed up as high as he could go, and then tra-la -la , tra-la-la as he tried to reach his toes”

    I like the idea of Stouteness exercises

  7. Porridge cooked with Stout yum.

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