Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’

let the dog decide

We’ve been pondering getting a dog and I was asking the Partner about dog baths.  For some reason or maybe because it seems to me like another Thing To Do That Might Have Disastrous Results. The horse next door, for example, routinely grabs the hose from me and sprays me down thoroughly when I’m trying to fill up their (leaky) water tub.  You see the potential here, don’t you? Anyway.  He said, in his usual judicious way, that it was “best to let the dog decide which they prefer”, in terms of indoor or outdoor sudsing, and that further, they seem to generally prefer a gentle shower such as one might find in a hand held apparatus in a well-appointed bathroom.  My goodness.  I think I WAS a dog in my last life after all.

I thought about allowing such a level of communication to develop in ANY setting, and about how, really, all of us benefit from being given a little space in which to decide which way our actual needs would best be met.  Trial and error is the general mode of the day for humans, however,  and probably what keeps people from thinking all this through on a more regular basis- it’s too scary, we think.  Too time consuming.

In the meantime, while balancing the calm rationality of administering potential dog baths with the raging chaos in my little brain, I had occasion to observe that as usual, it wasn’t only me going off the deep end.  Admittedly, the Hospital Experience from Hell has left a mark on my equanimity and it has taken me what seems like a very long time (a month!) to move through the resultant post traumatic stress- which only gets worse the more I find out about what actually happened, but that’s another episode.  Anyway, I had finally pulled myself together enough to cook and when I turned around to face the TV with a pan of chocolate chip bars in my paws, what did I see but what verged on an outright riot on a soccer field in Mexico.  Guadalajara vs Atlas.  The melee appeared to be set off by an astounding Guadalajara goal and the Atlas fans losing their tiny minds and attempting to rush onto the field.  The Atlas team itself was standing on the pitch, very still, and blenching, and the Policia were immediately present, bagging and tagging.  This is Guadalajara, Mexico, people, and that is not a place anyone wants to just get arrested.  So I had to wonder why all these young men were tempting grisly fate over something like the inadequacy of their team.  The rage boiling up in both the deranged fans and the combat fatigue garbed police was palpable and frightening.  It was transfixing and horrifying.  Was the match fixed? Was it just the last straw in corrupted soccer play? Was everyone on bad drugs? Why didn’t they seem to care at all about what happened to them? Then we went on to the biker brawl in Waco, Texas (and just what is it about THAT place?), and ISIS, and….and…….it seemed as though the entire planet shared my lack of inner peace.

It always helps to put things in a broader perspective as often as one is able.  In truth, there really isn’t an absolute concrete reality and there are always a lot of ways to look at things. (Except, say, methamphetamines, Arctic drilling, Monsanto, child labor, water pollution….) If, as it seems, we’re a planet at the boiling point and it isn’t only flying in planes, driving on bridges and attending soccer matches that place us in mortal peril, then each of us has to acknowledge that and sit with it in order to, well, let our inner dog decide.  We live in a world where I think it isn’t too much to say that Evil is ascendant.  The push of the political is toward the crushing of joy and true human feeling and this manifests throughout society, everywhere.  We’re constantly presented with things we know on a deep level are untrue (how do you feel upon hearing the words “there’s no danger to public health”, or “people don’t have a right to clean drinking water”?).  But those things are also presented as being factual reality, to which we have to conform.

Non-violence takes a long time.  It’s hard to resist the impulse to call someone an idiot or think about decking them.  But it’s also hard to avoid the awareness that in the end this accomplishes precisely nothing.  This uncomfortable place is where we all get to begin again, and as a tribal elder up here said, it is always about peace and equity, this process we must engage in vis-a-vis ourselves and the world.  Sometimes those things seem a long way off, as a proper bath may sometimes seem to be for a dog.  The quest for peace in one’s own heart may be the hardest thing any of us ever does, is what I’m finding these days.  But every once in a while the right shower head comes along.  We live in hope.

Of Horses and Habaneros

AS it turned out….horses do not throw up unless there is a problem.  It turned out to be a big one, too.  Tuesday when Harley came over and threw up he was, essentially, asking for help.  His human (our landlady) called the veterinarian, who treated him for choke, which is apparently something that happens to horses with some frequency: They get a glob of food stuck in their throat and then the problems start.  So, the vet stuck a tube into Harley’s nose to get the food glob dislodged, saying that it was a common procedure and not to worry.  But, of course, you can imagine that that sort of thing- the not to worry thing?-  happens on some other planet altogether, can’t you?  Not the one WE’RE on.  So poor Harley got tubed five times, also had a bad reaction to the pain medication, additionally got colic because he’d been blocked at, essentially, both ends.  Also, it’s been hotter than the well known spot commonly referenced in such comparisons.  So fast forward to Wednesday night when I got back from town and the landlady zipped up to transact some business.  She’d called earlier while I was gone, telling the Partner to let me know Harley was bleeding from the nose and not to freak out when I walked by.  She dashed off in tears, we were all crying, and things seemed quite grim.  It looked as though he might have to be put down.

So, what to do?  Rumi said to let yourself be drawn by the pull of what you truly love.  I felt I had to do something to help, being a witch doctor in training and all.  So first, I sat and, essentially, prayed.  Prayer is a word I often hesitate to use because it has become so…well, polluted in meaning what with all the politicians and..oh, never mind.  Anyway.  I focussed on Harley.  A little later I knew I had to go over and see him.  The poor baby.  His normally clear brown eyes were purple from distress and I knew he was miserable, panting and bleeding and good lord it was awful.  So I started doing Jin Shin Jyutsu on him, talking and moving my hands.  Our landlady came out, in tears, and we stood with him together, moving our hands over his poor pained body,  for quite some time during which I was almost completely devoured by bugs.  We didn’t know if he’d make it through the night or not.  The next morning he was there, looking better, waiting for me.  I worked on him twice yesterday, and today he looked a whole lot better.  Some issues remaining but no blood.  He was covered in cold towels and his breath was largely normal.  His nose is apparently healing but it clearly itches and he puts it deep down in water to soothe it.  He can’t eat solid things like hay yet because his throat is raw, so he’s getting carrot juice and handfuls of clover.  But the thing of it is this.  Yesterday I was doing a sequence on him for which I had to put my arms around his neck.  He rested his head on my shoulder and kissed it.    Today he again kissed me, and nodded his head a few times in agreement when I said how smart his mommy is to have figured out he didn’t like the pain medication, and that he was going to be all right.  As I walked back to the yurt, the other two horses walked over to me from the top of their pen.  The first day I went over they dashed down, wanting to know what was going on, the worry clear in their eyes.  Once I started working on Harley they both walked away to give us some privacy, then when he took a short walk near them, both reached their necks over the corral and wrapped themselves around him so lovingly, it was breathtaking.  Today when they walked over, they both let me stroke their heads and Copper stood up very straight, raising his head over the top of the fence, leaned over so he was nose to nose with me, and kissed my forehead.   It was the best thank you I’ve gotten for a long time.   And it reminded me, once again since I keep losing the thought like a bar of soap on the shower floor, that love is the motivating power of the universe- or at least one of the big ones.  If we let ourselves be moved by the power that flows through everything, we are bound at least sometimes to do good and be of help.  And that’s really why we’re here.

During all this period, we’ve been eating Jerk- we made chicken, although it’s good on almost anything, even tofu if you can believe it.  We have a habanero crop this year that is simply mind boggling.  So we decided to make Jerk, which we both like, and I can report that Mark Bittman’s recipe for it in THE BEST RECIPES IN THE WORLD, is a keeper.   So it is, indeed, a world of wonders.