“How can you lead if you don’t know that everything around you is a miracle?”
Considering the magical essence of things, that language is too small for. The squirrels at the windowsill. Grass on the hand. And how we, as people, are part of the earth, of everything. And if everything is medicine, are we not, also, medicine?
notes and transcript:
recorded 26 July 2022.
Hi everyone. Thanks for tuning in.
They're fond of saying that food is medicine. And these days right now, mostly what that means is: watch what you eat. It's code. But it shouldn't be. Food is medicine. And most of the time, if it's not code, what it means is, there are healing properties to some of the foods that we eat and some of the spices that are in the world. And if we avail ourselves of those foods and those spices as though they are the kinds of medicine that we take as a pill from the doctor's office, only its food and we put it in a meal, then we will achieve some of those healing outcomes.
And I know why we've gone that way, because that's how things get legitimacy in this world right now is they become a part of science, they become a part of profit models, they become a part of other things. And no shade: I want indigenous creators who are sharing indigenous knowledge to be able to succeed in a capitalist world. And that's how that works.
And I've been studying some things for a while now, that have led me back around to the idea of the magical properties of things. And by magical I mean, spirit-infused. I mean, some things are, all things are, beyond what we can analyze about them. And there's some question, of course, as to what role human-made things play in this universe? So, does a table have the same properties as a tree? Does a painting have the same properties as a leaf? There are a lot of variables there. And I am not going to attempt to answer that here.
But what I do know, what I do know is that the more of this work that I do, and the more of this study and presence that I immerse myself in, and the longer I spend time with the miracles of small things, everyday things- and not just animals, not just the squirrels that come to my windowsill. But also the grasses that I sat with yesterday because I could not stand being in my apartment anymore. But also the kale in my kitchen. But also the stone that I held in my hand.
Each, each, each of everything has an essence. And that essence comes from where it came from and also from things that humans don't really understand. We understand on an energetic nonverbal level, I believe, but we- language is too small.
Yes, this is leadership. Because how can you lead if you don't know that everything around you is a miracle?
And so I was stripping kale from it stems to cook it to eat it yesterday and I started asking myself: what if? what is? not even what if, I knew if- what is the essential quality of this kale? What is the essential quality present in this thing that I am going to modify through chemistry and heat? But what is it? What is it that I am literally putting into my body.
Eating is one of the most intimate acts we can engage in. There are only three things we do where we take that which is not of us and put it inside us. And make it into a part of us. We breathe. We eat. And we have sex. Eating is incredibly intimate. So what is this essential quality that I'm engaging in this deep intimacy with? It is literally giving its life for mine.
What is the essential quality of that beat over there? And the complexities of meat and eating meat are not ones I can plumb. I only know that I'm grateful. And that I know, as I did not know when I was 14 and trying to be vegetarian, that mere existence does harm. There's no way around it. And we have to come to terms with that. Because we cannot avoid it. In the same way that the fates cannot be avoided. In the same way that duty cannot be avoided. In the same way that everything in life is choices. The only way to cause no harm is to never have existed in the first place.
From the very beginning, from the very beginning, conception and gestation cause damage. And people who choose pregnancy, consider that an even trade. It's okay. They're willing to take the damage. But that doesn't mean the damage doesn't exist. Humans are wired very strangely that way. So even before we have independent agency of any kind, even before we are people, we are demanding resources and causing damage because that's what it is to exist.
How do we understand ourselves moving and living and standing and breathing and sitting and rolling through this world? How do we understand ourselves passing through the air in this world? And then I hit this other piece of it, which is: if all of that stuff, if the plants and animals and wind and trees and ocean and everything is all medicine of some kind- not just food, but everything- then we, too, are medicine. What is our job?
If food is medicine, and everything around us is medicine, and we are part of everything.... we are not separate from the earth, we are not separate from the animals, we are not separate from the living world. We are not separate. Then we must also be medicine. What is our medicine? How are we meant to be in interrelationship, complex inter-supportive relationship with one another and with the world?
And if we are indeed leading if we are gathering resources and deciding how they should be used, how can we use that power for good?
Thanks for tuning in.