Soul Food

I have read that nutrition for our soul can be, reading a good book, admiring art or expression of any kind, observation and contemplation of the violence and beauty of nature, and finally engaging in an activity or work where the thought of achieving anything other than just enjoying that.

Introducing Duck Soup for myself on Valentine’s Day.

Duck Stock

Whole fresh duck with breasts and leg and thigh removed

Mirepoix-Leeks, Onions, Celery, carrots

Bouquet garni-thyme, bay leaves parsley, peppercorns

3 quarts cold water

 

 

Set aside legs and breasts bag them up and keep refrigerated.

Put everything into a stock pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Skim foam scum off and discard. Simmer for 2-4 hours. Strain chill and get ready for the soup.

Please excuse me as I do not use recipes and these are just a list of ingredients that I put into the dish

Aromatics

Ginger, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, sriracha

Veggies for soup

Onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms(baby bellas)

For the soup

Sear duck breast

Cut the skin and fat down to the flesh, season with salt and ground pepper

put into a cool dry skillet, skin down and sear until crispy and golden, about 8-10 minutes, turn over and put the pan into hot oven 400+ for another 4-6 minutes, take out of the pan and set aside to rest.

 

 

Prepare the soup

Heat a couple portions of stock 28-32 ounces

Sautee aromatics add mushrooms and veggies, deglaze with rice vinegar and stock

add fish sauce, soy sauce a little honey

heat to simmer and add a squeeze of lime juice about 1/4 lime

prepare bowls with some cooked rice noodles and sliced napa cabbage

in the bowl

did I forget anything?

Ah yes ladle soup over prepared bowls slice duck breast and place on top and garnish with chopped cilantro and mint

Voila
There you have it

Happy Valentine day fool

toe musical selections tonight

 

 

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Do not be too quick…

Do not be too quick to assume that your enemy is an enemy of God just because he is your enemy. Perhaps he is your enemy precisely because he can find nothing in you that gives glory to God. Perhaps he fears you because he can find nothing in you of God’s love and God’s kindness and God’s patience and mercy and understanding of the weaknesses of people.

Do not be too quick to condemn people who no longer believe in God, for it is perhaps your own coldness and avarice, your mediocrity and materialism, your sensuality and selfishness that have killed their faith.

Thomas Merton New Seeds of Contemplation

blossom
Tender Opening

Perhaps you are the only best example of your faith, he has or will encounter. Be the person you wish everyone to be.

 

Winners and losers

In the interest of being able to persuade others to their side and hopefully arrive at a majority, in the perceived interest of their constituents. A division is created. What if someone has a great idea for most if not everybody, except that this someone has the opposition’s party affiliation? It then becomes evil and the greatest atrocity ever imagined. Sadly it cuts both ways.

Be Peace

From my perspective and in action. I choose to attempt indifference to the insanity going on in our nation’s capital. My aim is to smile and to be at peace with myself. Be kind to, and understanding of those I encounter. Help when I am able, say no when I cannot. This I pray will ripple out from here and impact more than I am aware of.

Comming to grips with and accepting that no one does anything that is not motivated by self-interest is key to understanding the motivations of leaders and followers. We all desire to be on the winning side. But what if the people you follow are not being completely honest? They’re human and are self-interested, so I’ll just attend to what I have influence over, namely me.img_3788

With gratitude, generosity, and love. Peace be with you all and may God bless all you endeavor.

 

The Objective Seems Obvious

I find the writings of Thomas Merton a profound foretaste to what is painfully obvious to me in today’s media and political and cultural discourse.

“A message to Poets” Thomas Merton  February 1964

“COLLECTIVE LIFE is often organized on the basis of cunning, doubt, and guilt. True solidarity is destroyed by the political art of pitting one man against another and the commercial art of estimating all men at a price. On these illusory measurements, men build a world of arbitrary values without life and meaning, full of sterile agitation. To set one man against another, one life against another, one work against another, and to express the measurement in terms of cost or of economic privilege and moral honor is to infect everybody with the deepest metaphysical doubt. Divided and set up against one another for the purpose of evaluation, men immediately acquire the mentality of objects for sale in a slave market. They despair of themselves because they know they have been unfaithful to life and to being, and they no longer find anyone to forgive the infidelity.”

Anthony DeMello
To be unaffected by praise or blame

Hope is not lost!

I have been blessed with the gift of being a drug addict. In being led as a byproduct of despair of epic proportions found a community where every walk of life come together in common search for a remedy for the Hell of active addiction. The differences that would divide us, in the workplace or social setting are forgotten for a common objective.

The recovery, recovering, recovered from whatever affliction is the same. In my opinion is a spiritual malady and the solution is an awakening to the Love that is inside all of us.

“Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will apparently be worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.”

That had been my exact experience with the people I encounter in “The recovery community.”

The most valuable thing

It was slightly more than 20 years ago. A delightful summer afternoon, ironically this memory includes me mowing the lawn. Ironic because I because I mow lawns for a living in the summer. My friend John is walking by. I stop what I’m doing to visit. He tells me about a new type of treatment program that is solely based on the spiritual principles found in the Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous.  At this point, having a little more than 2 years of continuous sobriety/clean time. I thought, boy I sure wish I could go there.

Well little did I know at that time, what the mighty Jester of the Cosmos had written in the book of my life. On November 16th, 1998 I entered the program at The Retreat.

The first thing that hit me was, during a Big Book study with Roger B. He says. “I hope you’re DONE and not just here to take a break.” Woah, just woah. Yes, I’m so done. The next thing was again Roger B. “Are you willing to believe in the possibility?” That a Higher Power could restore me to sanity. Yes! That would be the beginning of an intention to improve my conscious contact with God “as I understand God” which is impossible to comprehend. The basis of which is how I am willing to carry on without chemicals.

Fast forward to today. I have discovered the enlightened self-interest of, and the key to staying sober is helping others to recover. Wait, how can I help? What do I have to offer? Well as it turns out I have my experience. Which through sharing that, I am able to stay in recovery from addiction. I have found something else even more valuable than my experience. It is worth more than any material or financial commodity. It costs nothing but requires an immense amount of energy if offered with intention.

The most valuable thing is My Attention

Giving freely of my attention is the most generous thing I can do. With attention I discover understanding and that is what I get in return.

My Frailty

frail·ty ˈfrā(ə)ltē

noun

the condition of being weak and delicate.

“the increasing frailty of old age”

weakness in character or morals.
plural noun: frailties
“all drama begins with human frailty”
I have all my needs provided for or acquired. I find myself craving more. As the result of paying close attention to my desires and potential drives behind them. I have found that I can never really have what I am hoping to possess in some way. I have yet to figure out why I become obsessed with what I can really never have in the way I imagine.
I am in fact sure that if I did get it, I would no longer want it with the same passion that I wanted for it in the first place. What is it about me that I contort my principles to appeal another that I might be found in their favor, while at the same time the reaction to me is one of ambivalence or perhaps even indifference. It leaves me wanting it even more
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image source Google images

While all along there are those that are available, yet there is only mild interest on my part.

I think I am afraid to make authentic connections and receive the Love an appreciation that I’m not sure I deserve but should.

Discernment

The act of perceiving. Well, that’s just great. Admitting that my perception is egregiously flawed, I have arrived at a crossroads where I must summon that which cannot be fathomed by the human mind but know is there.

I have a choice to allow myself to be devoured by all the injustice and chaos swirling in the news. Or I can choose to be consumed by what is now and what is true. Because what is on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook is most likely merely a distraction. Come on Twitter…Really with tens of thousands of fake profiles, this is where we place our trust in gathering accurate information? God help us.

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What after all is really important? That I am looking down at the dirt, rather than looking up at it. I am able to devote my life to helping. I can express and acknowledge immense gratitude for the opportunity placed before me to Be Here now!

Stop and discern the vastness of this moment and perhaps the love and light will become apparent.