a close friend of mine is going to become a monk at the fabled moldovian monastery (let the reader understand)
I am joyful for him, and I won't miss him because I can visit there if I am near enough to do so.
but when he told me, I got a little teary because I know that it will be so hard, but so beautiful because they live such a simple, quiet beautiful life. Congratulations brother! (he won't read this, but still)
My Dad, among others, doesn't see the value in monastic life because it is not evangelical, in the manner of 'going out' but in the manner of telling others the good news? It is the most evangelical because it is taking full advantage of the peace offered to us by Christ in saying to us 'do not worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow has enough worries of its own'.
fishing. I don't get fishing. maybe I just don't do it often enough, but I used to be really good and really confident at it even, we went salmon fishing and I just never catch fish anymore, the last large fish I caught must have been at camp when I was like 14, since then I have had lots of fun, but never any really large fish. but again, its probably because I haven't done it enough. I am too much of an interdisciplinary hobbyist. I want to do everything. I think I have inherited that too.
I want to mountain bike, rock climb, fish, hike, go crabbing, sing, go snowboarding, travel, hitch hike, and all of these things have taken my time over the past decade(s?!) or so, so focusing on one and really getting to know it isn't what I have done.

and, is killing animals necessary? I mean, I have this neverending debate with myself about eating animals. I like the taste, but many things that feel good aren't necessary or even healthy. so that is not a good reason. but taking a life equals genuine cost, it really costs you and the world something when an animal dies. the animal loses their life. I am not saying the feel things, but that life itself is valuable. eating animals is not sin to be sure, but is it necessary? let it be clear that I still eat fish from time to time, and even a burger now and then when I am on the run with no time for a proper sacramental sit down with friends.

I am going to be a father, I can't imagine anything more daunting.


kimberley francis said...

oh our interdisciplinary hobbyist, it's good to hear your "thinking out loud" random ideas again. i'm so pleased for dan. i just wrote him some encouraging words (like my dad always writes to us) about the fish and the burgers, y'know i think to everything there is a season, and this next season is going to bring you such goodness! you are going to be a dad. a great dad. jason and i are coming over for the november long weekend, it'd be awesome to see you for a cup of tea or something.

biss said...

on eating meat: after having been a vegetarian for 13 1/2 years, i am now an avid beef-eater. while i found that i did not need meat for years, pregnancy required of me something different. now i feel weak and famished when i go a day without some form of meat. perhaps it is an increased need for iron. perhaps it is depleted protein stores. perhaps it is both, or something else. but i have concluded that i definitely need meat for this season at least.
and i do not think i will go back, but we will see when the baby begins eating solid foods (speaking of which, dieticians are now recommending starting babies on meat as their first solid food. that is hard to get my mind around, but it says something).

you are right, though. death is sad. i try as much as possible to eat ethically raised meat, and to say to it a deep thank you before cooking and consuming it.

being a parent is daunting, but beautiful. and you will have fun.

Widgetokos said...

Hey Dave,

I find I like meat less and less as I grow (and my family were never crazy meat eaters--too expensive and besides we fasted fairly often. However, dieticians and naturopaths are finding more and more that the anti-meat=health myth is just plain false. There are certain vitamins, minerals and important fatty acids that we need in animal protein, particularly meat in order to actually properly assimilate the good things we have in vegetables and grains. Things that we simply can't get from dairy-- things that we need to restore and strengthen our cells. Fish is definitely a big part of that because omega 3s are so important for healthy cell structure and cardio system. We CAN get lot of what we need from dairy but only from raw milk, non-pasturised dairy products--which are illegal in canada.

Meat was consumed in the Bible and was even mandatory at certain feasts. The healthiest people in the world are all heavy meat eaters and fish consumers. And in a lot of third world countries, as Biss said, a baby's first solid food is raw liver and egg yolk--not white grain processed rice cereal like the books and doctors all recommend in the western world. Can you imagine anything less like breast milk? In fact, meat is one of the easiest things on our digestive system along with lightly cooked vegetables--which need to be taken with a proper amount of fat in order for us to assimilate the nutrients. Both grain and dairy products are more difficult to process-- hence the number of gluten and lactose intolerances.

Having said that the modern meat industry is a scandal and I'm not sure what to do about it. I try to buy organic and grass fed when we can afford it and of course we don't eat as much as a lot for people because it's pricey and we fast anyway.

I highly recommend a book called "Nourishing Traditions" which is about natural food choices and challenges the western understanding of healthy eating in a lot of unexpected ways. It also has lots of yummy recipes

rowena said...

Thanks, Rhiannon for mentioning that book. I really think Biss could benefit from it, too.

A lot of things get dumped into the same catagory these days, but all meat is not equal. There are so many factors that play a role in the end product. Why is the farmer raising the livestock, what is he feeding the animals, what is the slaughtering process... These are all components of what we put on the dinner table, so to speak. People need to understand that grain feed beef and grass fed beef have very different nutrient profiles whether organic or not.

As a holistic nutritionist, I am definitely pro meat. I am also pro butter and eggs and whipping cream. It's all about balance, quality, and quantity.

Widgetokos said...

Yes I should point out that Rowena is the one who recommended that book-- actually gave it to me in the first place ;)

But it helped confirm a lot of what I've been feeling for a while which is that today's idea of healthy eating is really really unnatural. Most of the baby advice books I have recommend that women eat SKIM milk and low fat cheese while pregnant to avoid getting too fat--as though milk calories are bad for you. And while it seems universally agreed that refined sugar is bad for us most of the world has an unhealthy understanding of meats and fats.