April 28, 2010
may be untidy
is often unorthodox
may be inconvenient
is not sitting still
is not being quiet
is letting something inside out
makes no sense
waits on self-esteem: I learn only as much as I think I deserve to know.
may arrive unannounced
won’t be put off
can be diverted but not denied
is a skeptic
can’t be taught
can’t be caught
(and knows it’s all right)
has many disguises
Poem from the book: I Can Do It! I Can Do It!, by La Britta Gilbert, prologue
March 1, 2010
I would love for you to join me for a “Justice at the Table Workshop”. I’ve been working for the last several months to better integrate the issues of faith, communion and food practices in a practical resource and I’m excited to share this with all who are interested. If you are please join us. Here’s the information:
Description: Come to a “The Revolution Starts at Home” event, Justice at the Table! We will explore together the intricate connections between our faith and the food we eat. We will challenge ourselves and each other to bring our eating and buying practices more in line with our beliefs and begin drafting a plan to help us implement the changes we hope to make.
- Date – March 13th, 2010
- Where – Mustard Seed House, 510 NE 81st Street Seattle, WA 98115 (upper floor, back entrance)
- Time – 9am – 3pm
- Food – Coffee, Tea, and a vegetarian lunch is included. Please bring any snack with you that you wish to share.
- Children – Due to our limited space and small staff, we are unable to offer childcare at this event. You are welcome however to bring children 2 and under with you if you feel they’d do well in a room of chatting adults.
- Cost – $40 individual/$35 groups of 2 or more (if cost is prohibitive please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for scholarship information)
January 4, 2010
I grew up as a child of a Type I diabetic.
We ate very simple well balanced meals.
We ate three times a day on a regular schedule.
We had very few sweets.
Food-wise, these facts have been formative.
My father became aware of being a diabetic when he was drafted to serve in Vietnam. He was on his way to boot camp when the MP’s stopped the bus and took him back to the testing facility to check again. Obviously, he never went overseas. He met and married my mother instead.
At that point in medical history there was no simple way for diabetics to test their own sugar levels. So a regulated diet was your best bet of maintaining a good balance and living a longer life. My mother kept our family menu reduced to its essential parts to help my father keep better track of what he was eating.
A typical meal would be:
Broiled chicken (legs and thighs)
Homemade Canned Fruit with Extra Light Syrup
Seasoning: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
Dessert would come on festive occasions, or occasionally a pack of cookies or a quart of ice cream would be purchased which I regret to say my family could down in one or two sittings.
Looking back I can see some ways in which this has formed my eating habits as an adult.
- I enjoy eating a wide variety of healthy foods. My parents believed in at least trying everything once so as an adult I have very few things I won’t eat. Vegetables and fruit were a daily part of my diet. My family always bought apples by the box. Old-fashioned peanut butter was a staple. (In high school my mother was literally buying it by the gallon to feed all the extra kids hanging around.)
- I rarely skip a meal. I don’t remember ever skipping meals as a kid. Being late for a meal would cause my father’s blood sugars to drop and he would look and act as if drunk. My shy mother, in these instances, would be amazing. She’d bypass people waiting in line for food, order an orange juice, and somehow get it down my father’s throat.
- I accept almost any sweet offered to me. Since sweets were infrequent I took them where I could get them. This realization has only come to me in the writing of this document. We all have our relationship to sweets, but mine I think is based a feasting and fasting mentality.
I’ve been looking into my past relationship with food because I want to look forward. I want a balanced spiritual view of what food is and how it should function in my life. I also want to look outward, examining how food affects my relationship with others and how it can become a missional part of my life.
December 7, 2009
We just received an inaugural copy of the new magazine GENERATE this past week. I must comment that it’s a great looking publication. The design is outstanding! The cover art for this edition will definitely draw your attention. It’s a photo of the inside of a fridge with just a jar of wasabi mayonnaise, a black plastic bag and nothing else. The photo comes from a collection by Mark Menjivar entitled YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.
“Menjivar began a slow process of travelling around the country and painstakingly making large-format color photographs of the insides of people’s kitchen refrigerators. He said, “I see these as portraits of people and families and have approached the project in that way.”” GENERATE, pg.15
Each photo is labeled with the person’s occupation, their location, how large their household is, and an interesting piece of information. What really got me excited was how Menjivar is using this installation to inspire communities around the country and inspire grassroots movements. He will be traveling to several cities including Seattle, where he will be hosted by Cairo gallery and hopes to partner with local grassroots hunger organizations.
November 9, 2009
March 9 last Spring our third child was born, a beautiful healthy boy. For the past eight months we’ve been in what I like to call “hamster-wheel-mode”, going from one thing to the next, never quite getting it all done, crashing completely spent in front of the TV, going to bed, then waking up too early to start it all over again. My husband, Eliacin, and I haven’t been too happy with this rhythm but we’ve been too tired to think of anything new.
For my birthday this past week Eliacin gave me a wonderful gift, the gift of time-off! We took a couple of days and went to a cabin up at Cama Beach State Park. The cabin had two full beds, a microwave, a fridge and a sink, (and heat) with a bath house a short walk from our cabin. (And for anyone living on a limited income these are really inexpensive off-season!) No stove. No TV. We took all our meals premade and just reheated. We went on 2-3 long walks a day, and played games with the kids at night. We watch a heron come every evening to fish right in front of our cabin. We stared at the water and the rain and trully started relaxing more than we’d been able to for a long time. Then we started talking.
What we realized pretty quickly was that once again we were off-track, saying and doing completely different things. Believing in a life-style of self-education, but spending most of our evenings in front of the TV. Believing it was our responsibility to give our kids a foundation for their spiritual journey, but taking little time to talk with them about it. So we came up with a few simple guidelines for ourselves that we are challenging ourselves to follow.
- Have a morning and evening prayer time with our kids where we read scripture, talk through bible stories and just engage their thoughts and questions.
- Turn off the TV Monday-Thursday and either read, listen to books or radio, or just go to sleep early if we need it.
- Take a family walk everyday around the neighborhood.
Simple actions that we hope will help us move forward. It is so much easier for me to give up, to stop moving forward. But everytime that becomes my rhythm, my life looses its joy, its passion. I don’t want to live without passsion. Sometimes I think of my life as a spiral. It’s either one that starts with me and moves outward sharing and giving or it takes everything that surrounds me and draws it in to myself focusing more and more on my own family and interests. Right now I need to change the direction of my spiral and regain the passion and hope I think is so essential to living an abundant life.