Redemption

I wrote this about five years ago, and yesterday re-found it whilst clearing through my old notebooks to see what to take with me to the States.  I used to write a lot of this sort of thing.

Redemption Rain
Redemption is the story of loss becoming gain;
Of slavery bought back;
Of liberty returned.
It is the dawn after a nightmare,
The postern door in an impenetrable wall,
The feast after the famine.

We have been crawling and are learning to walk.
We have been drowning and are learning to swim.
We have been given clothes but do not yet know
How to put them on.

My eyelids flutter;
Wanting at last to open,
Wanting at last to see,
Yet unaccustomed to anything save darkness.

My fingertips reach out to touch and to hold,
But my muscles are weak,
Unused,
Flimsy.

I cannot yet pluck a flower.

The new, fresh fragrances of spring are all around,
But my nose is blocked.
I cannot yet taste the festive spread I am being fed.
But redemption says I will. 

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A Prayer for Success

Success

May all your expectations be frustrated.
May all your plans be thwarted.
May all of your desires be withered into nothingness,

That you may experience
The powerlessness and poverty of a child
And sing and dance in the love of God,

The Father, the Son, and the Spirit.
Amen.


Girl dancing with dad

Greed, and How to Eat Less

Profiteroles
I like food.  Under the approving eye of my pseudo-Epicurean wife, I have been moving from the category of 'trencherman' to that of 'connoisseur', but nevertheless, among the Deadly Sins, greed is an issue for me.

And, as with all sins, I don't want to be enslaved to it.

How can I be free?

Don't know about your motives, but I eat for several reasons, including nutrition, enjoyment, communion, escapism ('comfort-eating'), and boredom.  The first three are decent motives, and the last two probably not – eating for the good of the body, the good of the soul, and the good of community is clearly the way to go.  But none of these motives are greed itself.  Greed is the unsated, never-truly-satisfied use of food (or anything) to fill us up, to make us feel whole.  It's a vain pursuit, and commonly (but not always) leads to addiction.  

The Roundhead in me wants to evade greed by chaste pietism and asceticism – mortifying the flesh – while the Cavalier wants to affirm that every good gift is from God, and that to avoid enjoying them is ungratefulness and heresy.  Both are right.

Cavalierpuritan
So that's my theology sorted.  But I'm still eating too much.

And it's at this point that I realise that in my right-brained desire to have a thoughtful, contemplative discussion about everything, I've forgotten some basic nuts-and-bolts.  Whilst thinking through the concept of greed, I have omitted the fact that I never set out to eat or drink excessively – I just get nibbly, and one nibble leads to another.  Rather than focus on my fallen, sinful gluttony, I need to go to a physiological level and stop my nibblyness.

These are my resulting conclusions, helping me, in the last few weeks, to eat less:

i. Eat Eggs for Breakfast.
If I choose, say, porridge in the morning, my desire for a little smackerel of something at 11ish is overwhelming.  But if I eat eggs, I don't get nibbly until early-afternoon.  It's to do with the absorption of leptin, but you knew that.

ii. Snack on Meat.
If I open a bag of crisps, I pretty much always finish it, and still feel nibbly afterwards, and reach for something else.  But if I nibble dried meat (I like chorizo myself), this spiral is avoided.

iii. Drink Rather than Eat.
A lot of 'hunger' is actually thirst; so drink.  And drink good stuff: ale, cider, water, wine, tea. 

iv. Avoid moreish stuff.
Biscuits, popcorn, crisps, chips, bombay mix, chocolate. Sidestep that blood-sugar spike etc.etc.

That's where I've got to so far.

Moorish_moreish