If you can’t change everything all at once, then at least work on changing something each day. Become aggressive in your battle with the ego. You probably don’t need all the things that it wants. You need hope, discipline, creative expression, love, and serenity—these are the important things. Remember, when you are balanced, one stepping stone will lead you to the next. But you will rarely see the whole journey or all the answers at once.
You are surrounded by gifts every living moment of every day. Let yourself feel appreciation for their presence in your life and take the time to acknowledge their splendor.
~Lou G. Nungesser
Birthdays! What music in the world! In these unresting times, when nothing intellectual, economic, social, political, seems stable; when customs and traditions hoary with age are mixed with explosive elements, this oldest of institutions is not in danger of yielding to destructive forces.
~J.R. Macduff, Birthdays, 1893
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. 🙂
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
~ Mary Oliver
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.