Follow the Flavor

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Guest Post by Sondra Fink

I love food.  I love that vegetables need vinegar or lemon to break down their cell walls so your body can absorb their nutrients.  They need whole fats too – your vegetable’s nutrients are fat-soluble.  Fats carry those nutrients to your cells so your body can use them.  Don’t believe the hype: the consumption of nothing but raw vegetables is not, in fact, an ideal diet.  You need fats and acid too.

Trust the flavor.  Might that be nature telling you something?  Too much fat, and the flavor deadens.  Too much of anything and the flavor deadens.  Your mushrooms want some barley, your beef wants some parsley, your broccoli wants some lemon, your ice cream wants some crunch, just the right amount.

Mild afternoons are worlds better after a recent rain.  Spring only matters when winter preceded it. From seasons to cuisine, the beauty and flavor are in the combinations.

The concept of holism is based on the need to address the interrelated variables that compose anything that resembles breathtakingly complex reality.  So your bubble – my bubble – the comfortably limited little echo-chamber you or I reside in – is on par with a mini-mart burrito: tasteless.

What about people?  If I draw out my analogy, I must conclude that a holistic combination must include a few assholes, no?  I’m already a fan of a certain kind of diversity.  The reason I love NYC is because of all the different people, all colors, shapes, genders, religions, ethnicities, languages, traditions, orientations, levels of ability.  But does my tolerance extend all the way to ideologies?  That’s a tough one.  There are ideologies I loathe.  Then again, I also loathe liver, until I can unlock the secret of making liver taste good.

I read recently that men are in decline. Specifically, uneducated men.  Their skill-sets are simply bad fits for what the world now needs.  They attend college in fewer numbers than women, and advance less successfully into higher-paying employment.  But they’re not going anywhere.  And they mostly voted for Trump.

I’m part of a women-owned small business focused on holistic skincare.  Back to holism: the theory that parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection such that they cannot exist independently of the whole, or cannot be understood without reverence to the whole.  From a holistic skincare approach, you don’t just have acne.  You have your skin acting as an organ of elimination and a few too many toxins that your body, in defense of your total health, is working to eliminate.  In a holistic (read: realistic) approach, rather than torture your skin into submission – and likely fail or prompt an even worse reaction – the common-sense move is to treat the whole body.  Start with your insides and work your way out, gently, methodically and patiently.  Treat your skin topically in a way that is supportive of what it is already trying to do.  Change your diet and habits.  Use natural, gentle products that do less, not more.

For healing to occur, balance must be restored.  Healing proceeds from a place of equilibrium, which is the best kind of strength, a secure foundation for the body or spirit or body politic to restore itself.

Analogously, then, what do we do with all those balance-tipping straight, white, cis, uneducated men?  What to do with those Breitbart readers?  What about white women, that discouraging 53%?  What about evangelicals?  I begin to realize that I cannot will any of these infuriating people away, nor can I control their opinions and outlook.  The most I can offer is a persistent defense of my own opinions and outlook, and if my convictions are strong, then attempt to persuade.  That’s called discourse, but only (ugh, I almost can’t make myself say it) if there is also listening.  Listening to stuff I hate, like taking a bite of liver, and then imagining what might make it better.  In holism, when you attack a disease, you only drive it deeper.  It pops up elsewhere, often where you least expect it.  What do a bunch of frightened white men do when their demographic shrinks?  They elect Trump.  Fuckers.

They are part of us.  Ugliness springs from fear, but can prompt originality.  We have to let go of the “us and them,” or at least I do.  As much as it hurts, I think we are all part of each other.  We need to own all of it, taste the stew, and stopping short of poisoning ourselves, figure out what little-known technique or unexpected ingredient it needs to shine.  Compassion is hard but necessary.  Trust the flavor, and pass the salt.

Read more witchy rants on Sondra’s blog: 

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