We’re only here for a short while. And I think it’s such a lucky accident, having been born, that we’re almost obliged to pay attention. In some ways, this is getting far afield. I mean, we are – as far as we know – the only part of the universe that’s self-conscious. We could even be the universe’s form of consciousness. We might have come along so that the universe could look at itself. I don’t know that, but we’re made of the same stuff that stars are made of, or that floats around in space. But we’re combined in such a way that we can describe what it’s like to be alive, to be witnesses. Most of our experience is that of being a witness. We see and hear and smell other things. I think being alive is responding.
~ Mark Strand
There is no less holiness at this time – as you are reading this – than there was on the day the Red Sea parted, or that day in the 30th year, in the 4th month, on the 5th day of the month as Ezekiel was a captive by the river Cheban, when the heavens opened and he saw visions of god. There is no whit less enlightenment under the tree at the end of your street than there was under Buddha’s bo tree. In any instant the sacred may wipe you with its finger. In any instant the bush may flare, your feet may rise, or you may see a bunch of souls in trees.
~ Annie Dillard, For the Time Being
Anyone who tells a lie has not pure heart, and cannot make good soup.
~ Ludwig van Beethoven
I am not sure I am pure of heart, but I did make a good soup today. In an effort to liven up our diet, I have challenged myself to make soup every Sunday. I love soup, but don’t make it very often anymore. I have loads of soup recipes, including two cookbooks devoted entirely to soup. Both M and I save soup recipes from the newspaper or magazines if they sound good. The saved recipes pile up in a folder, ignored. It’s time to find out if they’re worth making and keeping.
Today I started with a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated magazine. Have you ever read Cook’s Illustrated? It’s one of M’s favorite magazines because they not only give you a recipe, but explain, sometimes in scientific terms, why the recipe works. One of the recipes we saved recently is for Red Lentil Soup with North African Spices. (I did not link to the Cook’s illustrated website because you have to join in order to see the recipe. I found the same recipe at another site, KCET, a Los Angeles television station.) I made it for lunch today and it was wonderful. It is a rather simple soup to make, not too labor intensive. I left out the mint because M doesn’t care much for mint in his savory food. I imagine it would have changed the flavor considerably. I’d love to try this with harissa. Now that I think about it, I have a big bag of dried chiles in the pantry. I think I’ll make some.
I will be keeping my Souper Sunday posts short. Just a photo or two, a description or review and, if available, a link to the recipe. If I can’t find a link and you’re interested in the recipe, let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to email it to you. Feel free to join me, if you like. Let’s see how many soups we can make.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
The waves broke and spread their waters swiftly over the shore. One after another they massed themselves and fell; the spray tossed itself back with the energy of their fall. The waves were steeped deep-blue save for a pattern of diamond-pointed light on their backs which rippled as the backs of great horses ripple with muscles as they move. The waves fell; withdrew and fell again, like the thud of a great beast stamping.
~ Virginia Woolf, The Waves
You never hear people put it this way, and I don’t intend to start a trend, but when we consider the ever-evolving process of a person’s thinking, the way a person imagines and organizes the world, it could almost seem appropriate to ask each other from time to time, How’s your religion coming along? How’s it going? Born again, or the same old, same old? Did you successfully distinguish darkness from light in the course of your day? Is there a fever in your mind that won’t go away? Mind if I prescribe a poem?
~ David Dark