Sunday, December 28, 2008

Food Fights

Yesterday, I decided to try reading two books more or less simultaneously (not a successful experiment in the past),took Black Jack for a walk, observed some bird disagreements over food, had a latte at The Wicked (superb), went to the gym, met Bill downtown to see Art and the Feminist Revolution exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery, had a latte afterwards at Artigiano's (Bill and I agreed it was good, but not up to Wicked standard) on Hornby Street directly across from the gallery, and came home to another of Bill's wonderful suppers.

The books I've started are: Harvest for Hope - A Guide to Mindful Eating by Jane Goodall and Sweetness in the Belly 
by Camilla Gibb, the latter a kind recommendation from dp.  A non-fiction and a fiction.  So far, I see a link between the two books, with talk of hyenas and hunger and the phenomena of food wastage.  There's even a link to the art exhibit, one which I'll think about a bit more.  I'll only say for now, after about ten pages of Sweetness, that it's a really easy book to get into, and my favorite descriptive line is ...his whole body an exclamation mark as he stood on his toes and paused for effect.  As for Jane Goodall, she talks about the natural habit of animals and man to fight for food.  I have hated that greed for land and organized religion are the two causes that I see for war.  I hadn't thought it through another step to realize land is food, and food is survival. Higher dominance rank gets the best food and thus a more successful reproductive career.  Little scenes seemed to pop up yesterday to keep that thought spinning.

Two starlings argue over the suet that I finally bought and installed in our back yard.
One is forced to wait its turn.
Some pigeons spar over a dirty piece of old pizza at the corner of Davie and Granville.  The lovely one with the map on its back (that's how it appeared to me) stands on its toes to shove the black one out of the way.
Map continues to shove, but Black appears to stand his/her ground.
Black retaliates.
Fairly even match, it seemed to me.
Black was the winner.
Maybe not?
Map is leaving.  In disgust?  Pizza wasn't worth fighting for?
These three seemed to share the goods more or less equally.  Who said pigeons lack intelligence?
I followed Map for a bit, who, Bill thought, danced a jig in this one.
Slim pickings along Davie Street, but Map didn't appear discouraged.  I kept trying to capture the map affect with my camera, but it isn't immediately obvious in any of the three photos to follow.

And WACK? I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it left me cold.  It came highly recommended by art people who know, and I came of age (if indeed I ever did manage to do that) in a historically important time for women.  I'm thinking I just didn't give it the time and energy it deserved.  It also occurred to me that if I had lived in some of the places the protagonist talks about in Gibb's novel, I may have had a very different response.  I left without my customary "I'll have to go back and see this again before it leaves" feeling.  Still, I did find an interesting site with lots of information to wake up my reluctant curiosity.  My favorite of all the works was one done completely with pebbles, but the feminism aspect in that piece completely escaped me.  I haven't located any more information on it, but that will be my first step in response to the show.

Just three and a half days left until school begins.  It's raining now, but I'm beginning to think it could be a long time before my beautiful bike feels the road.  Just for the record, I'm not whining:)  The bus isn't all that bad.  There is more time for reading,  And stop-offs at transfer-point cafes sweeten the inconvenience quite a bit.  


  1. Hi,
    I'm Ruby Isabella from Australia. Black Jack is one adorable looking dog. Animals (including humans) do sometimes fight for food but once you get an abundance mentality, you need never fight for food again.

  2. Thanks, Ruby. You're pretty cute yourself! Lovely to hear from you. I especially love that photo of you stretched full out and on the run. I adopted my last dog, Scott, thinking he was mostly lab. People who seemed to know about such things eventually tagged him as part Greyhound, because of his personality and way of moving. He was a great dog, and I bet you are too!

    I'm interested to know more of your thoughts on abundance mentality.

  3. Enjoy Sweetness. If you need an Ethiopian meal when it's over go to Fassil on Broadway just east of Fraser and tell Deresse (dur-ess-ah) and Lumlum that Sarah sent you. There are lots of Ethiopian restaurants in Vancouver these days, but Fassil is the best in my books (and right around the corner from our old house). Do you eat fish? If so, their fish dish is super yummy.

  4. I've eaten a few times at Nyala, and knowing nothing about Ethiopian food, found it good, although I liked it better when on 4th Avenue. Now, on Main Street, they no longer use Teff. Amina, instead of moaning because she doesn't have it, adapts the injera recipe to use millet. I thought two things when I read that: 1. She's a facultative flexitarian:) and 2. I want to eat Ethiopian food soon. I doubt I'll wait to finish the book. I don't eat fish, but Bill loves it. I checked out Fassil's web site, and see lots of veggie choices so we'll both be happy. Thanks for the suggestion!

  5. Hi Carol,
    Greyhounds are good at lying around which I am pretty good at.
    More on abundance mentality; Imagine there is a pack of dogs. They constantly fight and compete for what they see as limited resources. They see it as a win/lose scenario. When they get food, it means another pack misses out. They see a dog-eat-dog world.
    Now imagine another pack thinks that there is enough for everyone. They see a win/win scenario. There is enough to share. We create our own realities so whatever one you believe will become your reality.
    The pack of dogs could easily be human business people. Do you see life as competing with others for scarce resources or a world of abundance with enough for all to share?
    Ruby Isabella

  6. I dislike Nyala. They use teff (sp?) at Fassil, and their injera is fantastic. We have a long history with Deresse and Lumlum, and the former owners Moges and Rekiya who are now in Calgary. Really, tell them that Sarah sent you. Get the gomen if you like spinach, and the alicha is delicious. Does Bill eat meat? If so, the lamb tibs are heavenly. Enjoy!

  7. Ruby, thank you for taking time to explain your view of abundance mentality. I'm a dreamer and an optimist, and so I hope, possibly even expect, that we humans may someday come to that way of seeing our world. Still, for the countless who have starved to death on earth, the reality is that there wasn't enough to go around (in that time and place), and the strongest probably survived because of their competitive attitude. When it comes down to the basics of survival, I wonder if there is any difference between the animal and human world. That said, one of the many aspects of your blog that I love is your philosophy of peaceful generosity.

    Sarah, I did tell Deresse you sent us, and he remembered you, and treated us with great kindness. We didn't meet Lumlum, but could see her working in the kitchen. Bill had the lamb, and we shared several vegetarian options. I didn't learn the names, but really enjoyed all but one of them. The spinach was my favorite, and I hate to tell you how much injera I consumed. I LOVED it!