Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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On Coping

I felt the need of some uber-comfort food after hearing of mass shootings and devastating wild fires, the heart-stopping news of the injury of a key SCOTUS member, the aftermath of a nailbiting election and a demagogue leader throwing a temper tantrum.

And most of that was Wednesday.

So I am making home-made chicken soup from scratch —including the broth.   Into a slow cooker I tossed the carcass of a leftover rotisserie chicken, some sad-looking celery and carrots, the standard aromatics, Himalayan salt, peppercorns, parsley and marjoram, and covered all with distilled water.  Tonight I willl strain the broth and add the noodles and chicken.   From the dismal contents of my refrigerator and pantry shall emerge a soul-lifting pot of goodness and comfort.

Okay, I admit that I may have a bit of a problem with using food as a coping mechanism.  We do what we need to do.

Stock

Making chicken stock at 5 AM.

 


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When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Out the Food Processor

I’ve been stressed out this week. And when I get stressed out I like to cook. Obviously, there’s some psychological connection between food and stress, but I won’t go into that now. Needless to say I was engaging in a little “self care for the creative” this morning as I made this batch of harissa,  a North African condiment made of dried chilies, spices, garlic and oil.

My point here in mentioning this is that as creatives, we need to take the occasional mental or emotional vacation, if we can’t take the real thing.  Knit, fix cars, read books, go hiking, garden, do whatever it takes to clear the decks and prime the pump.


Here is the recipe I used.  I used all guajillos, the juice of half a lemon, and fewer cloves of garlic.


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Independence Day

It is Independence Day and I am in a  bookstore, writing and reading, in celebration of the free exchange of ideas and words.   I do this in honor of writers, journalists, commentators and all creatives, and in defiance of those in power who would rather shut us down.

Happy Fourth, America!


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Viriditas: An Earth Day Reflection

It seems appropriate on this Earth Day weekend that I spent a little time working in my small container garden. In the past, I have not been overly successful with gardening, but this time I approached it in a different manner. In the past, I would determine that I would plant a garden, and then spend large amounts of time sweating and toiling, ultimately not seeing much of a return for all the effort.

This time I am letting the plants grow themselves. What do I mean by this? All I need to do is four things: plant when the temperature is warm enough, and provide them with proper light, nutritious soil, and the right amount of water. I only spend about an hour once a week checking on them, giving them a good long drink of water, and keeping an eye out for insects and anything else that might be an obstacle to their well-being. Other than doing these simple activities, I get out of the way and leave them alone to grow. Plants, it seems, have the power within themselves to grow.  I don’t need to fuss over them

The medieval abbess, Hildegard of Bingen, who was a theologian, musician, writer, scientist, medical practitioner, mystic and visionary, had a word for this inner force: viriditas, or “greening” power. This power pulses with vitality and fruitfulness.  It resides in every living organism.  It is life in abundance.

What if we applied the same basic gardening principles to our own lives, both physically and spiritually? What if we got out of our offices, away from our computers and devices and exercised in the fresh air, feeling sunlight on our faces, eating nutritious food, and drinking lots of water? The greening power within us would heal our bodies.

Similarly, what if we disengaged from social media and all the other obstacles to our peace of mind? What if we were to take time to pray and meditate, fellowship face-to-face with others, feed our souls with things that are pure and wholesome and not negative or hateful? What if we partook of the divine Spirit that “greens” this world?

Then true healing would take place. Of this, I am certain.

Ljgloyd 2018