Cooking – for me is a ritual where I have the flexibility of creating something soulful using the ingredients I choose to add, and the quantity is always based on gut feel. Stirring, tasting, adding spices to perfection as I proceed. I look for the color, consistency, texture and aroma to make sure I have balanced the ingredients right. I could never go exactly by measurement cups, spoons and reading manuals to reproduce a recipe – for me it is a creation act and not a reproducing act (wonder why we call having babies an act of reproduction and not creation 🙂 ). Cooking needs my full-time involvement and when I am done cooking, I would have almost lost my appetite because of my overwhelmed senses. What I enjoy most then, is seeing my loved ones at the table relish it.
On the other hand, baking to me is more about following a plan meticulously – having the right measurements, right temperature, right time – and getting the expected results.
If I relate my life to cooking – I would love to stir, taste, add ingredients in the process of creating a unique flavour that is my life. Equally are people whose lives are planned with the right input in the right environment – giving the expected flavour and consistency in their lives. Either you cook or bake, depends on what you enjoy most.
One also has the option of getting fast food or frozen food. It demands less personal effort – but I would say that’s a life where we have agreed to loose control of what’s getting added into our lives.
We are all less significant in this world than we think we are. Life moves on, people move on with their lives. My most loved ones will move on with their lives and that is exactly how it ought to be. No one is indispensable. The concept of apocalypse and end of world theories are manifestation of the “fear of insignificance” of human life & existence. In the bigger cosmos we are just so significantly insignificant. This isn’t a negative thought – it’s the acceptance of the impermanence, and the beauty of impermanence.
What if the lily in my garden wilt away? The day of its bloom brought joy to my soul and I experienced its beauty every moment of its existence. Its fragrance swept into my room each day. But eventually it wilted and fell. Did I mourn forever? I waited for another bloom that recreated the whole experience all over again.
Everything moves on – and this realization makes it easier for me to let go and not getting stuck. So, then like the lily in my garden – I am here, I am now…putting my heart and soul to the “here and now”. When its time for me to move on – I need to whole heartedly let go.
I am the caterpillar who keeps on feeding. I am always hungry for more – more of everything. Insatiable are my material desires and self- obsession. What I feed on also depends on what’s available and valued around me – the cultural baggage, the networks that I associate my net worth with.
The goal of nature is not to fill this place with millions of over grown, bloated caterpillars. Each caterpillar has a unique butterfly within, waiting to emerge and take flight. To transform into a butterfly, I definitely need to be a caterpillar first keep feeding my instincts – but there needs to be a pupa phase in my life of looking inwards for self realization and henceforth come out with my wide open wings.
The quality of the human society is determined by the eco system it provides to propagate this metamorphosis in each individual. The world is much more beautiful with butterflies spreading their wings, flocking from flower to flower, spreading love. I wouldn’t want to visualize a world full of over grown, bloated caterpillars found creeping everywhere fighting over the left over leaves on the bare plants.