Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Problem With Foraging

The problem with foraging is it takes away all desire to have a job. Not that I had that much desire for a job in the first place. However, I do want to be sustainable--to support myself and not be dependent on others. I feel the wrongness of those words as I right them, but I write them anyway, because I am socialized enough still to want approval, and approval in my world means being self-sustaining. Last year, due to my illness, I was not. My body took over and I had no choice but to receive help.

Really, I believe we are all meant to receive from each other, but we have gotten to a point where for many, to receive help is shameful. I know I am one of those people on some days, but more and more I am opening myself up to receiving as the roots of my shame become more exposed and I start to look around in wonder at how beautiful the earth is--especially Block Island in the summertime when the waves are huge and the flowers heady.

What it all comes down to, is that if we are ashamed of ourselves on any level, we believe we are unworthy--unworthy of loving relationships, material abundance, or even surviving at the most basic level. Unworthy of a place on the earth. We struggle to survive and believe there is not enough for us. So many of us are victims to a money economy. Money itself is not evil, it's just a form of energy exchange, but the way it is controlled in our society has created a system where most of us sell our souls and damage our bodies in order to survive. Foraging pulls me out of this system. I can find my own food, and the process of doing this feeds my soul in a way that going to the grocery store does not, or even buying locally grown vegetables at the Farmers' Market. Foraged food is wild. When you eat foraged food you become wild. You lose your shoes, your hair gets tangled, you have dirt under your fingernails and a dreamy look in your eyes from staring into tidepools. There is a constant ringing in your ears of the ocean. You find yourself constantly scanning the sides of the roads for dock, cow parsnips, mallow, jewelweed, clover. You know how to reach through brambles to the first ripe blackberries hidden in the shadows of poison ivy leaves. You know to go slow so you don't get poison ivy. You remember to say thank you. You eat those berries on the path. They are delicious. Even the ones that are not quite ripe and are a little bitter.

Farmers' Market was rained out today, my attempt at commercializing my passion for foraging, foiled. At first I was stressed out because I don't exactly have a lot of money in my river right now, but I took the few dollars I had and headed over to Juice 'N Java, drank some tea, laughed with friends, laid on the beach and swam in the huge southeast swell pounding the shores of the island right now. I let the island support me. I let my soul receive what it needed most. In return, I gave it great praise, for it is beautiful. Wild, mysterious, so powerful I am afraid of it sometimes when I forget myself. But when I remember who I am, when I am ducking under waves, coming up to laugh in the white seafoam, I know I am home.

wild carrot in bloom

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