2020

“…in the world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort….” (From The Republic, Plato)

It’s hard to avoid the irony—the titular year of perfect vision, the unraveling of once reliable norms, political structures, checks and balances, civility in all arenas, the losses of loved ones and heroes to injustice and disease.

And it’s equally hard to avoid the comparison—between that titular year of sudden perfect vision, and the years of blurring and distortion, loss of sight preceding it.

That loss creeps up on us slowly. Colors lose their intensity, fading from brilliant to dull, letters spread into each other across pages and screens as poetry and prose and road signs seem layered with petroleum jelly. For a while, it’s easy to grow accustomed to, and comfortable with changes, a world smearing out of focus, and accommodate them with sharper lenses and adjusted habits. It’s easy to say we can deal with things as they are. We’re not missing anything truly important. We can still make out the big picture.

But then, one day, those street lights that come on at dusk glare at and confuse us, make us misread road signs. Or, the newspaper goes untouched because it’s too taxing to decipher small print. That’s when we realize how much of the big picture we’re not seeing.

I’m getting to that stage with my own vision, which has been on a steady decline for years. And I’ve been through enough cataract surgeries with friends and family to understand how startling sudden clarity can be.

More than one friend has related how shocked she was by her first look at herself after surgery. “I walked by the mirror, not intending to stop, then did a double-take after I caught sight of a strange image moving across the glass. I couldn’t believe the woman’s wrinkled up face was mine.”

For many of us, the severely clouded lenses that enabled our old lives and habits and beliefs have been stripped away, and we aren’t quite sure how to process and respond to the stark and painful clarity of new vision, or function with it. No matter which way we turn, no matter how well we think we’re adjusting, there’s always another flaw, another act of cruelty, corruption, injustice, bigotry, stupidity, selfishness, and there’s always another loss—of a loved one, or hero….

I wish I had words to ease the pain, fury, and helplessness over being assailed with such clarity, the harsh reality it exposes. But all I have is an increasing sense of urgency to more actively care for those I love, impress upon them the necessity of taking care of themselves and their loved ones, paying attention to persistent symptoms, scheduling life-saving tests, looking both ways when crossing the street, wearing a mask…wearing a mask….

That, at least, is a start.

Stay safe. Be well.

©2020 All Rights Reserved

No, thank you

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The other night, I watched as a TV food critic led cameras into the kitchen of a trendy new restaurant.

His review of the meal had been rhapsodic, spread over an array of dishes, which he lustily devoured. And, I  thought, gee, I’d like to try that place.

Then he went into the kitchen to talk to the chef—a young man who was clearly thrilled by the attention, his new star-status.

Being the food freak I am, I waited, pen in hand, for the reviewer to repeat the restaurant’s name and address, both of which I’d failed to write down during the opening. Yes, I was smitten, and ready to make a reservation the minute I had a number, That is, until the chef, while demonstrating how he prepared a signature salad, plunged both of his bare hands into the bowl of greens and other ingredients, and fondled them…repeatedly.

The food critic didn’t even blink. He gave the restaurant four stars.

I, on the other hand, made sure to write down the name of the restaurant so that I would never make the mistake of going there.

Maybe I should have sent him salad tongs, too.

©2017 All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

Resistance Bread

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I created this tea bread so that it would be food for strength and comfort—loaded with antioxidants, yet sufficiently sweet. Indeed, my husband says he can’t think of this as bread, as it seems more like dessert to him. I, on the other other hand, eat it for breakfast. The recipe is open to improvisation. If you try it, and experiment with your own additions/changes, please share!

Preheat oven to 350º

Liberally grease an 8″ x 4″ bread pan with cultured butter.

Mix:

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons grape seed oil or melted cultured butter
2 beaten eggs
1 grated apple
1/3-1/2 cup orange juice (pulp or no pulp, it doesn’t make a difference, just start with the smaller amount and add more if necessary)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries (I mix the two when I have both on hand)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts.

To this mixture add:

1 cup minus two tablespoons any 1-to-1 gluten free flour mix
2 tablespoons coconut flour
(optional) 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder

Blend well into liquid mixture. The batter should have substance, but not be stiff.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for @50 minutes. Test with toothpick to see if it’s done. Cool in pan on rack, then slice when still slightly warm and slather with chevre or your favorite nut butter.

Ready to #Resist?

(Many thanks to Michael Seidel and Nancy Smith for sharing this on their blogs!)

©2017 All Rights Reserved