Hunger is the worst of diseases ~ the Buddha

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Yellow Submarine

If you are a runner, and I am, it's absolutely terrifying to wake up on a submarine.

Even a dreamy yellow one, with an inarguably perfect soundtrack and everything a girl could want:
Dreamy new husband: SKM
Dreamy new blended family with a catchy title: sangha of seven
Dreamy old-new kitchen, finally full of possiblity: peacefoodlove.

This blog is about what you do once you wake up.
What to do when you wake up on the sub with no escape from everything you've ever wanted & have to learn to stay.
And what to feed yourself along the way.

In the town where I was born
Lived a man who sailed to sea
And he told us of his life
In the land of submarines

Good news about Moby Dick! Sea tales are just vast because the sea is absolutely everything. 
Food's "just" this way too. It's everything for me. My Mettāphor.
My container for the All.

It's the salty-vast soup of life, and everything we can't control within it. 
It's the clear, sparkling water with the clarifying lemon curl...and the stagnant turkish murk in the cup. 
It's the howling pain of the mako bite...and the compassionate graze of the kelp kiss.
It's the terror of the sudden squall...and the strange light & freshness possible afterwards.
It's the crag of the oyster ripping against your knuckles (you and and your shucking knife)...and the pearl dropped right in your hand.
And above all, it's discovering the endlessly versatile firm white fish of your Self, alongside the terminal flotsam scum you can only tong-tong at in the big canner of your Soul, where you are just trying to make, and preserve, something good. 

In the soup, we know even when we don't want to know that that there is always the potential for the submerged fault line to reveal itself, and the brilliant tsunami of change to break open the safe shore.

So, we resist. Wait a minute, you want me to jump in there?

Resistance is futile, but one way we try is to live on the surface. You "live" there by not thinking about what's happening to you, and not caring. Buffeted & beaten up by every bit of weather and the whimsy of any pecking gull, each day you suffer, treading & bobbing.
You're not drowning Down There in the unknowable murk, so it must be "fine." Sure you're sun-blind, but you're not really looking to see, so you'll take your chances on top with the gulls, thank you very little. 

The other way (ahem, my way) was to drop down to where it's so deep and lunar cold it's like not having to be in the sea at all! You "live" there by numbing out to your fear that it's all just too much. Afraid of being out of control in the sea, you drink the salt water against all folk wisdom & your gut, because you're so, so thirsty to fill up with numbness against these feelings of groundlessness. Or any feelings.
(You can insert "vodka" for "salt water," or "sugar" or "self-flagellation," or whatever your poison is. Any of them work equally unwell.)

Either way, surface- or bottom-dwelling, you're not really being in or with. 
And you're not really living, now are you?
These are both self-protecting mechanisms, by the way. They're survival instincts, if outmoded, designed to reduce perceived threats and bring us a sense of safety (sigh, if only safety were true refuge), of some mooring.
Yet the only thing you can safely say about either place?--is that you'll be alone and struggling for air, always.

So we sailed on to the sun
Till we found a sea of green
And we lived beneath the waves
In our yellow submarine

I found a sea of green--no metaphor here: I only found it when I stopped drinking the salt water and destroying the chemistry of my body. 
Unfortunately, you can stop drinking the poison and still stay separate--in fact, it's much easier and more comfortable to practice this not being numb business alone! I just slid a brick inside my meditation cushion and stayed put on the bottom, calling out metaphors for peacefoodlove, but essentially, spinning empty plates. 

Then I found my Soulmate--and before you go gagging on how sweet and impossible that sounds, let me warn you: everyone wants the Soulmate, but nobody thinks through to how incredibly hard it will actually be once you're on the sub.
And suddenly, I had to be in something. In love. In the sea. No more numbling-bumbling around on the bottom. 

My husband doesn't even like seafood, so who knows what his response will be.

Um, the kitchen on the yellow submarine is pretty small, by the way, for seven people in this new sangha. Nothing like a submarine to encourage closeness and obliterate a feeling of separateness! [Cue up the chorus]:

We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine

You see, I always believed there was a yellow submarine out there, of goodness and contentedness and belonging, even as a child with absolutely no reason to believe that.
Because it's in our nature to have the good and basic hunch that getting on the sub is the way.
The only way.

The getting on is the easy part, by the way. It's the staying on.
I was, and still am, completely unprepared for how messy the whole thing is: how deeply wonderful but also incredibly uncomfortable it is in a galley kitchen on a sub with 6 other people (and a dog).

Yet, here we all are, together. And even though I get that this is the way, I'm still full of minutiae-clinging ego-gusto a whole lot of the time and it will urge me to flee this sometimes-stifling kitchen. I can make the perfect cake if I just do it all by myself. Alone.

And [BUT] our friends are all aboard
Many more of them live next door
And the band begins to play

I know I need to give myself over to it, but I still have frequent moments where I fear the sea's uncontrollable power so completely it makes me sweat--but I fear the close proximity of the sub even more! I can find a thousand fondant-covered, Edison-esque ways to fail to be on board. (As the kids would say, "FAIL.")

So, I have to swim around out there and flail and feel crappy for a while before I come back (maybe we'll make Come Back Cookies next time), a sopping, humbled wreckofthehesperus, and I am taken back on board with no loss of love--but of course it's me who has to clean up the kitchen floor, mopping away at the big self-destructive puddle of my own making.
Defecting from the sub sounds silly out loud, even to an experienced contortionist/runner/dorsal fin-chewer-offer such as myself.

But. It's handing over the pastry bag full of homemade butter-black icing to someone else, and giving away the snitchy white countertop of my ego--the whole length of the way.
I'm trying to let other people help--and use the black frosting. I really am.
I am now learning to be the teaspoon, and to fill up:

But it's the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.

Full speed ahead Mr. Boatswain, full speed ahead
Full speed ahead it is, Sgt.
Cut the cable, drop the cable
Aye, aye, Sir, aye, aye
Captain, captain

know that the only way is to cut the cable, drop the cable, to move forward. This is also called letting go, and it continues to be the number one challenge of my entire life. I'm learning to let go and give to other people, even when it's not "perfect." (Julia Child had a rigid no apologies policy, so what's my problem?)
I am learning to make food with other people, and eat it with them, not just photograph it and analyze it to death, and starve on the sidelines and wonder why I'm so hungry and angry (um and yes: lonely and tired, too).

Peacefoodlove is a project about expansion. But first, like any kitchen renovation, it's about taking things out, and about rewiring. You're gonna hear me talk a lot about this as we go and I am pissed off at the electrician that is me.

As we live a life of ease
Every one of us has all we need
(One of us, has all we need)
Sky of blue and sea of green
(Sky of blue, sea of green)
In our yellow submarine
(In our yellow, submarine, aha)

This is a cooking project to uncover and recover my Self. To recover the ease and the peace available to any one of us, at any time, through the abundant vehicles of peace, food, and love.
Today, the Yellow Submarine is the vehicle. Even though I can't "fathom" it (ouch, you see our Mettāphor is handy), what this letting go would actually be like?-- I have to believe I can learn.
Sigh. I want to taste that.

Whenever I find something--whether it's a book, a song, a turn of phrase, or a mantra, I'm going to figure out what that means in the language of food and the body and make it for you, because that's what I have to give.
If you're hungry for that sort of thing.

I know that if I can just resist my urge to defect from the sub, squeezing out of one of the many portholes of fear, I will be okay. If I can stay in this hot little galley kitchen, I will make something good.

We are ALL just naked Twinkie people with basic, cloud-soft sweet centers, wanting desperately to get on that submarine.

Okay! This is my only bit of real cooking advice today, a lesson from the Yellow Submarine Cake:
It is worth the wait to soften up the real butter and grouse through finding the scissors someone has made off with to cut the parchment to grease and flour the pans. When you are working with naturally sticky thoughts, it's worth it to measure carefully and spend the butter in the cracks.

The gratification of something not sticking, not one single bit, just one time, is better than the cake.
And when you see it slide right out of the pan with ease, golden and beautiful, you will know you can do it again--with practice.
Because--and I reaaaally I hope my husband sees me write this: It's worth it.

Not the first post I'd imagined here, but it's the perfect one.
Ditto, the cake.

And in the end, the love you bake, is equal to the love you make.


  1. A joyous smile is what i've got! Full speed ahead, indeed! xo

  2. một quyển trục màu đỏ, một luồng hơi nóng bỏng từ trong chiếc hộp cũng toát ra ngoài.

    Cuốn trục ma pháp này chỉ có ma pháp sư ngoài tứ cấp mới có thể tạo ra được được, bí kíp ma pháp chủ yếu phân thành công kích và phòng ngự, ma pháp sư cần phđồng tâm
    game mu
    cho thuê phòng trọ
    cho thuê phòng trọ
    nhac san cuc manh
    tổng đài tư vấn luật miễn phí
    văn phòng luật
    số điện thoại tư vấn luật
    thành lập công ty
    ải tiêu hao không ít linh hồn lực mới có thể tạo ra, hơn nữa chỉ có đủ tu vi mới có thể tạo thành quyển trục như vậy.

    Nói như vậy quyển trục ma pháp này chính là một vật phòng thân rất trọng yếu, quyển trục ma pháp này cũng chỉ có thể sử dụng được một lần hơn nữa giá cả khá mắc cho nên rất ít người có thể mua.

    Vật đấu giá thứ hai ba cuốn hỏa hệ công kích tam cấp cuối cùng cũng bị một trung niên hán tử bỏ ra năm mươi kim tệ mà mua.

    - Vật thứ ba chính là một viên Thiên Niên Huyết Linh chi, có giá ba mươi khối kim tệ khởi điểm, mỗi lần tăng giá không được dưới năm khối.

    Vân Phỉ Phỉ mang vật thứ ba lên đấu giá, trong tay nàng chính là một Huyết Hồng Linh Chi.