I’m marveling at the pleasures of home this morning: the whirring and gurgling of the dishwasher, the fuzzy carpet under my bare feet, the scents of coffee and soap lingering in the air, the whisper of breeze from the ceiling fan. I’m unshowered and feeling deliciously lazy this morning, my hair is dirty and the weight of my glasses is making an indent on the bridge of my nose. I rarely wear my glasses outside of the house, so the feeling of them on my face is a sort of early morning/late night pleasure.
It’s been a hard week, for reasons that I can’t discuss publicly because it’s not my story to tell. Whenever I witness a personal tragedy, I am reminded of just how fragile and bittersweet this life is, how much beauty and pain, wonder and loss we can experience if we are open to it. I don’t want you to worry, dear readers, but if it’s not too much to ask, if you wouldn’t mind asking for a miracle on my behalf, I would appreciate it. There’s nothing wrong with me or my family, but I am finding little comfort in my own well-being. No one ever said that life is fair, but sometimes there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to the bad things that come out of nowhere. In my own bizarre agnostic way, I’m calling on the universe to correct this horrible mistake it has made. It’s not too crazy to hope for a miracle, right?
Even in the face of tragedy, life goes on. We eat, we sleep, we read blogs and check Facebook and spy on the new neighbors moving into the building. We live our lives as best we can. It’s always struck me as weird that the mundane exists side by side with unspeakable sadness. But I think the mundane has the power to pull us through our tragedies. Hunger reminds us to eat so that we may live. Exhaustion reminds us to sleep so that we may wake up and be strong to face the next day. And laughter reminds us that there is a life worth living, through the nightmare and beyond.
On that note, I want to play a game of carrot-and-stick, only instead of carrots and sticks, I thought I’d give out something more personal, like cookies for the good stuff, the fun stuff, and rocks for the bad stuff. I love a nice list, don’t you? It’s so orderly, which in itself is a comfort. Let’s begin!
* My newest favorite blog, What Would a Nerd Wear. I love Tania’s site! She’s a style blogger and Brit lit graduate student, and her fashion sense is a lot like mine, but she’s more stylish than me. Her writing is fun and friendly, thoughtful, even hilarious sometimes. I want her to be my blog friend.
* An instant pudding dessert made of almost all whole foods: a few spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt and a spoonful or two each of peanut butter and coconut butter. A bit sweet, a bit rich, it’s a great summer dessert to follow a light meal, like a soup-and-sandwich combination or a big salad. For the coconut butter, I am devoted to my jar of Artisana Organic Raw Coconut Butter. That stuff is unbelievably good. It’s a little expensive—I got my jar on sale for ten bucks and change—but it lasts a long time because I don’t eat much in one sitting. I think of it as an investment!
* A new cookbook: Ani’s Raw Foods Essentials by Ani Phyo. I haven’t bought a new cookbook in a very, very long time. You could say I’ve been on a cookbook diet. But I’ve been thinking about buying a raw food cookbook for a long time, and this one seemed like a good choice for a newbie like me. Now, I don’t have any plans to become a raw foodist, but I want to learn some new tricks from a raw foods expert. As a sign of my commitment, I bought some fresh Medjool dates at the store today, and I don’t even like dates very much! But I’m ready to learn—let the lessons begin!
* The weather this week, which permitted me to run outside three times! I was shocked and amazed and also very sweaty. But still, it felt great to get off the treadmill for a few days.
And now, onto the second part of our game.
* My new upstairs neighbors, whose late-night noise is keeping me from my beauty rest. I want to yell at them, “Go to bed! Or buy me some earplugs!”
* Me, for not paying attention. All week I’ve had weird headaches and I’ve been straining to see things. I am very near-sighted and must have vision correction at all times. On Monday I put in a new pair of contact lenses, but it took me until Friday to figure out that I put the wrong lenses in each eye. You see, my two eyes have different prescriptions because my left eye is worse than my right. Last night, I switched the lenses and behold, headache gone! Perfect vision!
* Neal D. Barnard, MD and Vegetarian Times for the worst answer ever to this question: Why go organic? (Organic meaning organic foods, not organic chemistry. Glad I’m long done with that second one!)
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, my personal belief is that organic produce is the healthier choice because I believe that pesticides and such are likely to be cancer-causing agents. I cannot, however, cite the scientific studies that provide more solid evidence for my belief. Because there are so many variables among human subjects, my hypothesis may be difficult to disprove conclusively. I’m okay with that. I still buy organic produce as much as I can.
I would have hoped that Dr. Barnard’s answer would shed some light on the demonstrable health dangers of ingesting pesticides and other chemicals. Instead, the argument goes like this: chemicals are bad for you. If you eat organic foods, you eat fewer chemicals. Therefore, not eating organic foods is bad for you. The problem with his answer, even if I believe his conclusion, is that it fails to tell me why these chemicals are bad for me. Just because something seems like a bad idea does not make it so: eating bacteria, to me, sounds like a bad idea. Bacteria can kill us. But the bacteria found in things like yogurt are really good for our digestion and gut health. Dr. Barnard’s answer strikes me as weirdly intuitive—he’s a doctor, for crying out loud! Intuition is not the same thing as science. Intuition is just a starting point for a hypothesis that must be tested and retested in such a way that it can be disproved.
If anyone cares to shed some light on this topic, please be my guest. Hopefully your argument will be more convincing that Dr. Barnard’s!
That’s the end of my rant, and the end of cookies-and-rocks. I hate to end on such a down note, so how about some green to spruce up this otherwise wordy post? I took this picture over at my fountain, where lovely green plants are basking in the heat and the moisture. I try to stop by the fountain a few times a week, just to check on the plants.
Have a happy green weekend, friends! See you tomorrow, maybe with more green!