Thursday, July 10, 2008

Why I want to believe in reincarnation

I think about the afterlife and I wonder. Sometimes I am comforted by the thought that I will return to the earth, giving back all that has made me (ignore the physics and embalming problems here), returning the cows and chickens and fish and carrots and tomatoes and lettuce and beets and rice and chocolate and so on. That when I die, I am done, my successes and failures die with me, while the world goes on; there is comfort in that. Other times I contemplate heaven, but that is fraught with philosophical difficulties - do we shed the more troublesome aspects of ourselves when we die, are we insipid in heaven? Or is heaven something so far beyond my comprehension that I can't understand it enough to long for it? I don't particularly want to be a ghost, as far as I can tell that's pretty boring. So what's left?

Reincarnation sounds pretty good to me. I really like this option because, damn, but life is hard sometimes. I'd like to think that all the crap I'm sorting through these days, crap that keeps coming up over and over again, will be worth something. That the stuff I'm learning now will have some value later, because honestly I sometimes doubt that I'm going to learn it well enough to use it in this lifetime. But with a little processing time in between, I just might be able to do something with it.

I would love to know:
how to love without sacrificing myself.
how to speak painful truths such that they are heard
how to use anger effectively.

Stuff like that. If I could learn that this time around and carry it into the next, that would really be something. And if I carried the recipe for tomato cucumber salad over too, that would be huge plus.

Take a couple of lovely, heavy, ripe tomatoes. Cut them in half and scoop out the seeds. This will sting if you have any scrapes or cracks in your hands. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces. Put it in a good sized bowl. A pretty one.
Take a cucumber. I usually peel it some, but not entirely. Slice it in half the long way and run your thumb down the inside, scraping the seeds out. You can use a spoon, but this is more fun. Chop up the cucumber and add it to the tomato.

Find an onion that seems non-threatening. Peel it, dice it and add it to the bowl of veggies. If you cry a little no one needs to know. Some tears are a gift.
Take a bunch or parsley, flat or curly, your choice. rinse it and shake it dry. Chop it up until you have what you think is enough, then add some more. Add it to the bowl.
Sniff it all. Mmmm....
Take a nice, ripe lemon. Cut it in half and squeeze the juice out from both halves over the veggie mix. You may want to use two lemons.
Add salt and pepper to taste; it may take more salt than you're expecting. Mix it all up well. Eat.
This, I know, is heaven.

(c) 2008 Laura S. Packer
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