Friday, March 2, 2007

Ideas, Digestion, and Garlic

All day long I think of ideas for the next blog. I try to write them down, but often they fleet out of my mind as quickly as they appear.

And yet, it is against my rules to look back at my list for an idea. The list is just a safety net. Suppose I wake up one morning without an idea. All I would have to do is to check my list and pick one of the ideas.

I could write about my rules, i.e. the fact that I make rules (perhaps some brand of mild autism) so that I don't have to make choices about the little things in life...like what to eat.

Or I could write about being lost. I was talking with a friend yesterday that I'd rather be lost than found. Someone asked (trying to be friendly) if I was lost, and could they help me? I replied that I'd rather be lost. For me, it is the process of finding one's way that makes life exciting. Who wants to be told how the book ends?

But instead I want to write about digestion. Or maybe about garlic. Both of these are not proper subjects for discussion. For me, the more garlic I eat the less I sleep. When I go to a dinner I ask for a vegan or vegetarian selection. Chefs must be trained to think that garlic is a favorite among vegetarians. And unfortunately, most of the recipes in vegetarian cookbooks contain garlic, by the cloves. And most of the vegetarian selections at Whole Foods have garlic. Buddhists do not eat garlic (or onions). Why don't we listen to them?

Remember, though, that I'm not going to write about garlic either. My wife doesn't like it when I eat garlic, and this is her computer, so I have to honor her wishes.

It is digestion that interests me. It is digestion as a metaphor for how we process experience. And it is digestion as one of those very elemental processes (like sex) that we should only mention to our very best of friends.

Except, that is, if your parents were psychoanalyzed by a Freudian. Then it is fine to make reference to the entire eating process, and since eating is really sublimated sex, the only subject we really can talk about (either directly, or by inference) is sex.

Hey wait, this was going to be about digestion. A friend used the word "digestion" in the sentence "art is good for the soul and the digestion" and her friend thought she shouldn't have used the "d" word. I suspect her friend's parents are not psychologists, so she doesn't quite understand how the word was used. These "bodily" processes are for some the elephant in the room. We all know they are there, but we should never mention them.

I took someone to see some drawings I am exhibiting. They immediately were taken aback because the figures were sexual beings. At an attempt to explain, I told him that we were all made that way (with sex).

One of my creative writing teachers in college told me that I needed to get rid of the toilet paper. I never asked him what he meant, because I understood that this was more about him and the fact his parents weren't Freudians.

The challenges remain. How do I tell the host that I eat everything except food with eyes, cheese, wheat, eggs, sugar, onions, and garlic without seeming a little bit overbearing and obnoxious? And, in a world of non-Freudians, how can I mention words (or images) about digestion and sex without making the reader a little (or a lot) uncomfortable?

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