I just watched this clip of "Sh*t Natural Mamas Say " and after I finished laughing (at the video and myself), I got to thinking about how so much of life is context and how the themes of my life help me move through the days and years with increasing peace. Slowly, hard won, but yet...increasing. Themes like resiliency, equinimity, self-regulation, authenticity.
Geographic and cultural contexts are huge when it comes to my sense of idenity, yet my adult life has been shaped the an intense desire to uncover the essence of me. The force that breathes the body and is the intersection between universal life force and personality.
In Humboldt County, California, where the children were born, the phrases in the video were my everyday conversations at the Coop and the farmer's market, hiking the redwoods and walking the beaches with one baby on my back and one in the sling. In Minnesota, being that mom who drew the line at McDonald's playland playdates and novelty chicken nuggets challenged my assumptions, brought my deep judgments to the light of day, and helped me to find my own beliefs while simultaneously softening the dogma. Here in Japan, both "in Japan" andin the international community in which we dwell, the opportunities to try new things combine with the primal urge to the "familiar" which for me ends up being a bizarre combination of my local Coop, food markets with vast arrays of fermented foods, and Indian restaurants, along with IKEA, Starbucks, and Costco, places I didn't think I'd go and I certainly didn't think I would be brought to through living in Japan! As I write this I realize the strangest thing of all...I define the world according to food! Ah, a shock for me, but you probably figured it out a long time ago.
As a matter of fact, I did have an inkling that food obsession was my birthright when I was in my teens and it dawned on me that I was named after a sandwich. I was named after my late grandfather Reuben, you know, the New York deli combination of sauerkraut, corned beef, swiss cheese and russian dressing on rye. But I was a girl; they couldn't really call me Reuben. Ruby might have been nice, but it's not a sandwich. A Rachel is though...just switch in cole slaw and take out the sauerkraut and you've got yourself a tasty, dripping, carnivore's delight.
Ok, then. That wasn't really where I thought I was headed with this post, but here we are. I think I'll leave you with that tasty nugget for now. Maybe you learned something you didn't already know. And I'll just sit here and keep pondering.