Path To Perfection, of Potatoes or Venerating The Veggie

Beloved worships at the field of the sacred potato.  Okay he doesn’t really, but where potatoes are concerned, to Beloved they are sacred things.  Sacred enough to be ingested after being lovingly enrobed in rich, golden butter.  Topped with delicate sprinkles of sparkling white salt and a dusting of black pepper.

Of course he will add other things now and then to the potato.  I suspect it depends on what the potato priest demands of him.  Regardless, at the end of this worship, the potato is held in the sacred potato vessel also known as Beloved’s stomach. 😉

I, on the other hand, do not attend the holy church of the sacred potato.  I could do without almost daily worship of potato, which to Beloved is pure blasphemy utters from my lips.  So in an attempt to allow him to meet or even exceed his religious obligations, I search for new ways to prepare the scared tuber.  Hey this way he gets to worship the thing and I can stop my tastebuds from stage a revolution.

Speaking of revolution, I’m pretty sure my tastebuds demand that I worship at the House of Cake and Pious Pastries.  Course my hips would revolt if I took daily devotions there! 😉

Anyway back to the potato and the never-ending veneration of said vegetable.  In a fit of homesickness, or maybe just because I was running out of time, I decided to make potato salad.  Until Beloved lived in America the man had never had potato salad.  Now to me that’s just odd, especially for a man who loves them ever so much.  But it’s true.

Of course there are a million different ways to make potato salad because it really is a matter of taste.  So I figured whatever was already in the kitchen would work.  Some sour cream, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, chives, honey and smoky mustard happened to be on hand.  And thus were they used to dress the cooked potatoes.  and so it was that the potatoes, thusly dressed were consumed andBeloved was able to still worship at the field of the holy potato.

And I, friends, am on a quest to find more potato recipes.  I consider this now to be my version of the quest for the holy grail, complete with horrors and temptations to get me side tracked.  But surely the perfect potato recipes are out there, waiting to be worshipped by the most zealous of followers on the Path of the Potato! 😉

Teetering Above A Canyon

I’ve stood at the top of the a grand Canyon and peered down at the massive chasm below.  I’ve felt the wind blow gently against me as I’ve marvelled the jewelled colours spread below my feet.

I’ve travelled down to the bottom of the canyon, stood near the jewelled green-blue water  covered in white lace from the turbulence and gazed all the way up to the pale blue sky.

All of this made me feel small and yet connected.  At some point in history people travelled here, they travelled along the rim and down into the canyon.  To some it was sacred, to others an obstacle.  A place of dreams, hope and despair.  A place of treasure, both financial and spiritual.

Places like this, deep places have always attracted people since ancient times.  There is something that calls to us, at least some of us to go to high places as well as places of deep rifts and chasms.

I can’t speak for others, I only know that for me there is something mystical about places and something magical about the power of a canyon.  These ideas carry over beyond the physical places into other aspects.  Power becomes a high place, risks become the canyons, filled with raging rivers.  Solitude becomes the sacred and so on.

I am attracted to the edges, where the high places and the low teeter together.  Where the edges blur into a dizzying, swirling mass of potential and impossible and the canyon is as beautiful as the high place.

Sacred Spaces in Early Times

As we walked around the henge, I wondered what it was that made our ancestors expend so much energy and resources into such projects. Sure this was “just” a wooden henge, but the fact remains at work, energy and effort went into setting it up so that it lasted until modern times.

Sure the wood wasn’t from the time of long ago, but the holes had remained noticeable even to the modern eye. This meant that they had been dug deep and frequently held something so as to prevent them from filling in.

Of course there have been a number of ancient sites that were barely studied before the urgent push of modern society erased them.

While our ancestors did mark the land with henges, rock building and formations as well as art, they didn’t seem to be as hell-bent on filling up every empty space. At least not from what they’ve left behind.

Why go to such effort, why expend the energy for such things as henges or man-made hills? Some can argue that these structures are not really all that different from the soaring cathedrals and churches that came after.

In a place where the sacred can be sought and found, in a place where the sacred exists and one can go to touch that faith it would stand to reason to mark the importance of such a place.

Some people today can go to these sites and feel an “energy” or sense of sacredness that most do not notice. It is believed that the ancients felt an energy or sense of something greater in these places and thus they were marked. However besides the area being a sacred site some of these sites demonstrate a scientific or practical side.

High hills not only are ideal places to be closer to a higher power, but also excellent vantage points, thus making them desirably and powerful. We see this in some ancient societies where the powerful live on or on these sacred places because it was thought that the rulers/leaders were the divine incarnate.

While I don’t feel any “power” or “energy” at these places I do feel a sense of awe. I’m awed at what people have created in the past and awed at how something that seems rather simplistic at first blush really is more complex than most people give it credit.

Sacred, then, is where you find it or feel it. It can be all around and within.

Spaced Sacredness

I pulled him along, gleefully running towards the crumbling walls. I just knew he’d love this place, the beauty of the works of art and such, like I did. How could he not?

He liked to pretend otherwise. He liked to pretend that it was an effort and a chore to follow along. His feet, he pretended. Weighed a thousand pounds and the walk was at least a thousand miles on top of a thousand miles he had already walked.

When we hit the walls, more or less just tumbled down stones, he told me that “you North Americans are so odd, coming to these old places, sacred places of rest just for an outing.” His deep blue eyes which normally held the sparkle of joy and something mischievous seemed solemn and a little sad.

“Come on now, you’ll see. The headstones are stunning and they don’t make them like that any more.” I tugged at his hand, suddenly realizing that his pretend reluctance had in fact become real reluctance.

I knew I wasn’t the only person who found these old headstones to be works of art. There were people who did tracing of these as if it save what was left before they weathered away to the point of not being able to read the words.

I didn’t do tracings, just the odd photograph here or there. This cemetery had always been a wonderful place to me. There was a sense of tranquility and being part of a bigger picture when I walked among the stones. I had always been respectful of where I walked, never sat on a headstone or anything such as that. It was here that I felt most connected to a much larger, cyclical thing called life. The ebbs and flows of humanity as areas populated and depopulated,as fashion and culture changed and thus what humans did to celebrate life based on those changes also morphed.

“I thought, for a man who had seen so many Troubles, this would be nothing for you,” I tossed over my shoulder, determined to enjoy my outing even if he refused to step on foot inside those crumbling walls.

He squared his shoulders, took a deep breath and said, “Lass, you don’t know the half of what I’ve seen and known. I’ve no need to visit upon death for soon enough death will visit upon me herself. I’ll wait for ye here so I will.” If he was a girl he probably would have tossed his head, but as it was, his accent, and not the “posh” side of it, had come out thick and strong.

So I ventured on my own, enjoying the sunlight as it was dappled through the trees and leaves. The breeze was warm and welcoming and I wondered if death was this peaceful place, this place we all went to on our own. Did we see those who walk among our names after we are gone? Does it matter if our names remain strongly etched when we cease to be remembered as loved ones find their memories going fuzzy and then gone?

I was gone for over an hour, taking time walking through the stones, trying to make out names and dates and wondering who those people were. What would they make of this world, or these changes?

When I came back around to where I had left him, he was talking to an elderly man. Rather the elderly man was giving him the history of the area. I was struck be the fact that there would always be someone to fill in parts of the gaps for us, but very few could explain the people from days gone by.

As we made our way silently back towards I couldn’t help but notice that there was a divide between us that couldn’t easily be crossed. He kept the idea of death at the barred door where as I accepted it was a fact of life and in some ways was freeing. When he got in the car he finally spoke, breaking the chain of my thoughts. “I’ve seen ones like those before. And to be sure they are pieces of art, masterfully carved out, but they are the representation of people who have gone on to rest. To break that rest is wrong.”

I’ve gone to cemeteries since then, not often with him. To me they are that blurred area where death and life overlap in a type of haze. There is something sacred and silent in these places, but there is also comfort and warmth. It depends on how you look at it and what you seek when you go through.