Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm in Mood for Food

Seoul Food
My friend called today from Florida. She's at a health institute. Much of the focus there is on food. The plan suggested for her is virtually impossible for her to manage at home unless she was wealthy or had hands that worked. She has rheumatoid arthritis. Her hands - not so good. She calls them claws. There are not going to be able to grow sprouts and to juice. But maybe those hands will fool her. She wants off the toxic meds. She believes her healing path is through food. I know food is seminal in healing, but when you can't get the recommended food for healing - what does that do for your heart, your hope, your dreams?

My husband and I fast on Tuesdays. My friend the chiropractor says it’s not a fast. The new definition of fasting is “to reframe from certain foods.” But he is old-fashioned so according to the old version of fasting, I guess we’ve doing a cleanse. I'm hungry. I'm not grumpy or agitated but I'm dreaming of eating a whole wheat homemade cracker that I made yesterday. This tasty little cracker has seeds in it along with olive oil and salt.. Tomorrow I'll be back on my regular food plan and in the morning I will barely think about food. I'll down a ground flax seed, apple juice, cranberry juice and spirulina concoction and be off on a one hour bike ride. I'll return home and eat or maybe I'll wait until after I walk the dog. Food is not such a big deal the day after “cleansing” because it is no longer the forbidden fruit.
I grew up in a food obsessive family. When someone in my family talks about a party, a vacation or a wedding you’re going to hear about the food. I did a picture book of my trip to Korea and Thailand and it is full of food – street food, eating on the floor food, seafood, food before it’s cooked, food in paradise, bakery food – it’s nuts this food thing I have.

Our favorite restaurant closed recently and my husband and I are bereft. We heard the rumors of closure but we had to see for ourselves. We rode our bikes down to Teasars and peered into the darkened rooms. Until recently this was a chandelier-filled den of pleasure. Now nothing is left except the ghosts of delicacies. We have to find a new place to spend our anniversary. It’s like we lost a family member.
I believe in food magic. The right food can cure anything, it can ease pain – we’re talking chocolate here, food can make you hyper, lift your spirits or soothe you. Food can win friends, make life more social.

I have a position on food. It’s not good, it’s not bad. Life is my oyster and I’ll have a little butter on them, if you don’t mind. And pass the hummus please.
Anne Sermons Gillis annegillis.com

Sunday, August 15, 2010

You Can Smell the Peace

 This morning I went to the Unitarian church to hear my friend, Tony George, play drums. He did an outstanding job. Our friend Paul Klein led the pact and a handful of musical masters shared soul and rhythm with the congregation.

I returned and found my tail-wagging wildly enthusiastic dog, Lucy, waiting. As I often do, I went for the floor and we rolled around together. We had a grand time and in between our antics she managed a sniff or two. I watched her smelling me. It was so intimate. She’s sniffs me all the time, but until today, I really didn’t take part. Today, I offered no resistance and became a co-conspirator in this animal act of recognition. “Oh I know you, this is your smell.” In the past, I’ve smelled her too, but not to recognize her, just to manage her health. Does she smell, does she need a bath, do the inside of her ears smell funny? She’s the only living animal I smell.

With a few exceptions – I smell people’s breath, their B.O. and their gas, and that’s not pleasant. I don’t intentionally smell others, no sniffing and drinking it in. No smell and tell. Their odors just happen to be in line with my olfactory receptors. These human odors don’t have much character. I can’t ever remember thinking, “You have such lovely breath.”These are not terms of endearment. I can’t imagine living 300 years ago. Smelling was not an elective. Every day was a smellathon. If you were near anyone, you knew it. Now we’re sanitized, scrubbed clean and antibacterialized.

I read somewhere that if you lick your arm, and wait 3 seconds and then smell it; you can smell your breath. It does work. I think that’s why I brush my teeth three times a day. And in full disclosure, I admit I do smell under my arms frequently because I don’t use deodorant. This is my maintenance smelling.

This reminds me of a smell joke. Can you believe I actually know a smell joke? Actually I know two. A janitor is in the elevator. He is alone and lets out a big one. It was one of those stinky ones so he sprays some Pine-sol. When the next person get in the elevator he exclaims, “What the heck? It smells like someone shit a Christmas tree.”

I can’t resist. My mom told me this next smell joke. It was so uncharacteristic of her; she was a little on the prim and proper side until she got Alzheimer’s. Then all that propriety sort of leaked out. “The blind man passed a fish market. ‘Good evening ladies.’” I think that was the family dirty joke.

Now, back on track. I wish people were not so standoffish – you know that 18 inch rule - too close and we’re in someone’s space. I wish people could get close enough to recognize each other’s fragrance, that one identifying odor unique to him or her. I remember that deep time of intimacy with a new lover when I wanted to drink him in. I would smell his clothes – his chest - I just wanted to be closer. I wanted my breath to bring him into me.

I wonder if we knew each other intimately - I knew your smell and you knew mine, could we call ourselves enemies? Could we forget that primal musky call to life? Could we go to war and kill each other? If I was intoxicated by your essence, what would I do? What would you do? What would we do? If were that close, would we go to war?