Monday, February 22, 2010

contributed by Mike

As Lent approached this year I had a hard time thinking about what I should 'give up'. I thought about giving up chocolate for Lent, but that seems so popular these days. It's like when 'Napoleon Dynamite' came out and everybody was watching it, I purposely avoided it just for that reason. Maybe I should give up 'Avatar' for Lent. And I don't even really like chocolate that much. Now, giving up caramel nougat and peanuts with a touch of fudge robed in creamy milk chocolate, that's a different story.

So I decided to give up 'Buying Food Out'. Weird, hey? 'Buying Food Out' is significant though. To me it means I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, of whatever ethnic persuasion I feel at the time. I don't think that's healthy for me, physically or mentally, it separates me too much from the 'process'. Immediacy is a killer. I want my hands to prepare it, and know what it is that goes into the 'process'. I want to be less of a 'consumer'. So, 'Buying Food Out' is what I've given up. Now I have to make my lunch, and cook dinner (and lots of it so that making my lunch is easier - it's hard in the morning).

Five days in and I've realized that what I've really given up is my wanting. For me, I think wanting is the root of all evil. Money just gets me the stuff I want, but it is the wanting that distracts me. Wanting undermines gratitude. I'm feeling thankful for the means to purchase ingredients to prepare. I'm feeling thankful that I get a choice as to what I would like to prepare to eat. I'm no longer separate from the making of food to the eating of food. I no longer have a nameless person serving me something that another nameless person in a non-descript factory 'prepared', packaged, and sent out to the 'restaurant' in the food court where I can purchase it to consume. It's less immediate, I'm more connected.

I also tried to give up beer... which lasted a day and a half, until I visited the 'Holland House'... Maybe next Lent.

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