Archive for ‘September, 2012’

Not that I’m claiming to be wise or anything, but….

“Each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.”

Felíz otoño, guys. If you have the giddying pleasure of being in New England this fall season, go pick up a leaf. Play in a pile of them. Go for a hike. Enjoy autumnicity (don’t look to Webster for the verity of that word, I definitely just made it up… but it rolls off the tongue, yes?) in all its leafy, red-yellow-orange-ness. Bake some pumpkin muffins. Or pumpkin seeds. Or just put on a cozy sweater, fuzzy socks and slacks, sip a cup of tea and breathe in deep.

Or, I mean, don’t. But seriously, DO IT.

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“Feathers filled the small room. Our laughter kept the feathers in the air. I thought about birds. Could they fly if there wasn’t someone, somewhere, laughing?” – Jonathan Safran Foer

My mom started blasting old, hilariously dramatic Bollywood songs this morning and doing equally hilarious, awkward, choppy dance moves to it while wiggling around like a bendy no-bones person. I couldn’t help bursting out in laughter and snorting a little coffee.

Yes, it’s unnervingly-close-to-Fri-day. But wherever you are today, don’t forget to laugh. Birds need our help staying airborne, after all.

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sitting on top of the world, with your legs hanging free?

yup, I’m that little nugget in the sky.

For some reason, I’ve been having wild, nonsensical, jarring, hilarious dreams for the last few days– and they all seem pretty unrelated in their weirdness (I’ll spare you the details), except for one common denominator: I feel like I’m flying in all of them. Even when I’m on the ground in dreaming-Shreya world, having a conversation with someone… or with a shark wearing a wedding dress speaking in Hindi (like I said, I’m better off sparing you the details)…. I’ve been dreaming of a perpetual flying, soaring sensation.

And it led me to daydream of this parasailing adventure that Andrew and I went on last year, when I came to visit for my five-day break during my study experience in Costa Rica. Before we reached the peak of our flight, I imagined it would be immeasurably noisy up there, with the wind whooshing by your ears and everything. But I remember…. silence. It was so strangely quiet, serene, calm– no, not quiet, SILENT. Literally. I remember hearing myself talk to Andrew and thinking that it sounded like we were in some time-space-discontinuum vacuum type dead zone. It was so bizarre. And completely, COMPLETELY beautiful. And worth experiencing. I’m telling you, if it’s not on your bucket list, slap PARASAILING on there– and underline it in bold Sharpie. It’s an ineffably, staggeringly beautiful thing.

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This Labor Day weekend, I embarked on a kind of labor pretty unfamiliar to myself – the kind that makes my biceps ache as I type this. And it’s not that my arms are particularly weak. It’s that I’ve spent the last couple of days in the Keys with Andrew, waking up at sunrise to set out on the Amante and fish our hearts out for tuna, mahi, and anything else (legal!) that these beautiful blue seas will offer us.


proud fisherman and fisherwoman

Let me tell you, these fish look smaller and weaker than they actually are. It’s a Herculean task to try and reel them into the boat… but I guess they’re fighting hard enough against the line and pull that it makes sense how difficult it is.

Okay, vegans and vegetarians, fair warning—you probably won’t like these next paragraphs; continue at your own risk. I remember being in Costa Rica and freaking out when I saw Macho, our field station’s farm hand, slaughtering our chickens to prepare for the next day’s meal. Pop, pop, pop, he just took their heads right off, a vaguely pleasant smile still decorating his face – an emblem of his bulletproof cheerfulness. At the time, I couldn’t bring myself to stomach the arroz con pollo  on my plate the next day, knowing I had been running around with the squawking chicks the day before. My attempt to become more connected to the sources of meat and fish in my diet had blown up in my face, instead turning me off completely to eating chicken for the last month or so that I was abroad.

couldn’t stomach these guys after I saw them being slaughtered…

However, this weekend sort of reversed that. I still can’t hold a fish without it flopping out of my hands and me flipping out, but when we cut up the fish we caught and cleaned it, Andrew brought out a plate of some of the tuna I had caught with a bit of soy sauce on it and it was the best sushi I have ever tasted in my life. Sure, it’s probably because it doesn’t get any fresher than that, but this time there was a sense of pride and relish in eating something I had furiously fought with all my strength to catch instead of the disgust and wretchedness I felt toward eating chicken in Costa Rica.

Being connected to and cognizant of the source, cleaning and capturing methods of the meat and fish in your diet can provide you with a more holistic awareness of what you put in your body- and make you deeply connect with every morsel that crosses your lips. It can also make you sprint in the other direction and adopt vegetarianism/veganism overnight. It can put you somewhere in the middle. But whatever the outcome, I think it’s of paramount importance for us to cultivate a greater connection to what’s on our plate, in our cup, and sliding down into our stomachs (sorry for the visual). The food-comes-from-grocery-aisles mentality needs to disintegrate in American minds.

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