Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Delicious!

Just when I was determined to starve myself out of my muffin-topping waistline, Patti challenges us to post something delicious and leaves my mouth watering for Italian delicacies. Well, I guess all I can say is….

MY PLEASURE!
I love food. Of course….sweets. Duh. 

And I yearn for fresh seafood…with BUTTER! (I miss living on the West Coast…Midwest lake fish just ain’t the same.)  

I adore savory morsels like cheese with truffles, brie and olives, salty delectables with herbs, and complex salads.

But DELICIOUS rises to a whole new level when you add a glass of wine and some beloved people.

So now that I’ve polished off my leftover anchovy pizza with sauteed spinach and garlic, I’ll take a look at some of the other DELICIOUS entries in the week’s Lens-Artists Challenge. Buon appetito!

Lens-Artist Photo Challenge: Celebrations

I celebrate the gathering of family, the reunion of loved ones. I choose the table cloth, polish the silver and wipe the crystal glasses until they shine. I light the candles and arrange the appetizers in a tempting display. I listen for the doorbell. 

I remember an Advent anthem I sang in church choir, years ago. It was called Anticipation, and I cannot find the author or the composer, but the words remind me of the joyous preparation and promise of celebration.

“The sky is black; the dawn is but a promise, and here I wait, impatient for the light. My dearest friend is coming back tomorrow. Anticipation fills the endless night, and soon the sky will fill with golden sunlight. The day will break with joy beyond compare, and I will fly — I will fly — to meet him in the air.”

 

I look forward to celebrating the return of the sun’s light, to the reunion of parents, children, sisters, brothers and friends. May we all warm the dark nights with laughter and love, good will and good food, and remember our connection and belonging.

Thank you, Amy, for sharing a glimpse of celebration in Peru and sparking our imaginations.  

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dinner’s Ready!

What a fun challenge! Dinner, supper, the evening meal is an opportunity to establish a daily feast or celebration of sustenance, to gather your nuclear family together, share stories of the day, and unwind .

Yeah, right. I am amazed at how rushed and chaotic this time was for me when my four children were living at home and involved in extra-curricular activities!

However, they are living on their own, now. Their schedules are their own, and my schedule is that I work part-time 2 days a week and my partner works from home. I have re-claimed dinnertime for savoring food and conversation! I like to have a glass of wine or a gin cocktail or simply ginger ale with a lime wedge to wet my whistle while I prepare a meal for two in our tiny kitchen. Jazz by Chris Botti, Chet Baker, or any of the vocalists from the ’40s-’60s keeps me humming along in a great mood for evening pleasures.
My camera comes out for special dinner occasions, a new recipe or a holiday meal with family. I love the bustle of a potluck dinner with my children, and I fully acknowledge that they are better cooks than I. My mother’s dinners were elegant affairs where she was the clear Commander in Chief. (There’s one photo taken at her table – a distinct difference in style.) And I love dinner outdoors by the campfire or on the lawn of a music festival. Such a lot of delicious memories! 


Dinnertime

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transition

Moving a 20.5 lb turkey, already cooked, from my house to my son’s house 116 miles away.  Hoping the bird doesn’t suffer too much in transition.  I’m too involved in this project to post new photos, so here’s one of the bird we dined on last night ‘a deux’ – a pheasant courtesy my boss and his bird dog, Bhodi.

thanksgiving dinnerMay your attitude of gratitude bring you joy, today and every day!

Transition

Farming a Dancing Landscape

Some Thoughts on Poverty – Spiritual Lessons from Nature Series

This article appears in this month’s issue of The BeZine.  To read the entire issue, click HERE.

Raising a child is not rocket science. It is more complex than that. Rocket science is merely complicated. What’s the difference? The Latin root for complicated means “folded,” like pleats. There are hidden surfaces, but you can unfold them and draw an iron straight across it. Rocket science requires a long series of problems to solve, but with enough time and effort, you can get through them all and even repeat the entire process with very similar and predictable results. (Any one with more than one kid knows this is not the case in parenting!) In the same way, you can determine which peak is the tallest one in the Appalachian Mountains. You probably can’t guess correctly just by looking out over the landscape from a single overview, but get enough people with GPS tools to climb the hundreds of peaks on the horizon and take measurements, and eventually, you can figure out which one is the tallest. Complicated, but do-able.

Guadalupe rangeComplex is a whole different story. The root of that word means “inter-woven,” like a spider’s web, where each fine thread is connected to another. And they’re all sticky except for the ones the spider uses to climb directly over to her stuck prey. But can you tell which is which? Can you tell that the one you just stepped into is sending a ripple right over to where the spider is sitting? She now knows exactly where you’re stuck, but she doesn’t know that you harbor a parasite that will kill her and make its way to yet another host when yonder sparrow snaps up her dead carcass. That’s complex.

spider web

Raising a child is complex. Trying to tell which peak in the Appalachian range is the tallest is complex, too, if the landscape is dancing: changing in an unpredictable pattern , moving to the rhythm of an imperceptible music. Which peak is tallest now? And NOW? And why are we even trying to find the answer to that question while watching this mysterious dance?

Poverty is complex. It is not something that is solved by simply devoting more time and effort to the problem. If it were, we would not be looking at thousands of years of history on the subject. We give in to the temptation to simplify poverty into a matter of dollars over time, reducing it to something measurable, predictable, and controlled, a mere graphic—the poverty line. But poverty is an inter-woven network of relationships and concepts—self worth, social justice, resources and their extraction, economic policies and global politics. It is as complex as our planet’s environment.

the shack

So how do you engage with a complex issue like poverty?

Aldo Leopold arrived at a Land Ethic after years of developing and recording a relationship to a particular place in Wisconsin. In the book A Sand County Almanac, he writes: “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” Making personal decisions about right and wrong based on your relationship to the community is the responsibility of every individual. Applying that ethic rigorously and non-dogmatically is the work of love. How do you love your neighbor? How do you preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community on this planet of inestimable and finite resources? How do you alleviate the suffering caused by poverty?  These are complex questions. 

“We shall never achieve harmony with land, any more than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations the important thing is not to achieve, but to strive.”  —Aldo Leopold

Maybe a more accessible question is this: How shall we strive to end poverty?  To that question, I can imagine simple answers.  Start early in your learning. Teach children about sharing and portion, not dogmatically, but in relationship. Strive toward understanding basic needs and toward a sense of what is enough.  Build trust and hope and compassion.  Be flexible, changing with the land and its resources. Be present with the multiple factors involved; do not look away, diminish or dismiss what is real.  Be authentic and honest and diligent, and finally, believe that even on a dancing landscape, food is growing underfoot.

© 2015, essay and photographs, Priscilla Galasso, All rights reserved

Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange You Glad?

“When it’s cherry blossom time in Orange, New Jersey, we’ll make a peach of a pair!” (If you know me, you know that any prompt will lead to a song cue.  It’s how my brain is wired, for some reason.)

Nothing rhymes with orange, but lots of my favorite things go with orange: warmth, food, Fall. 

I hope your day is cozy and that you find many reasons to be glad you live in this wonderful world!

Orange you glad it’s photo challenge time?