Thursday, April 19, 2007

I've been told it's a Buddhist sermon...

Trinity @ 7
April 15, 2007

Tonight we’re talking about priorities
But not just priorities
There’s something deeper than
Having a priority, an order of
Importance in your life
And that is seeing.
Just seeing.

When we really see
Deeply see a thing, say
A bag of popcorn
We deeply see into our own

When we see the bag of popcorn
How do we know it?
Not in the way of identification
Pop secret or the boy scout brand,
I mean, what it is to us?
Do we see in a bag of popcorn
The family bonding time it provides?
Do we see a shared snack between friends?
Do we see a blockbuster movie night?
Do we see dinner?

When we know what we see
We know a slice of who we are
And so, we see ourselves

This is true for everything
But part of it is in learning
How to see because
There are layers of meaning
That aren’t always readily apparent
Even though they exist,
Whether we know them or not.

The bag of popcorn is also
A seminatural product
With more or less toxins and artificial
Whatsits in each pouch
And too
Those handy pouches that we can’t recycle
Take up space in landfills
And we pay more for the convenience
Of those pouches
Than, say, a large jar of popping corn
And a stick of butter

And this isn’t a diatribe
Meant to inspire consumer guilt
It’s just a layer of the bag of popcorn
An aspect of it that exists,
Is true,
And one, perhaps, that we don’t see
All that often.

But there is more, of course
The popcorn has been grown,
Harvested by farmers and workers
Sun has shown on it.
Rain has fed it,
Plus perhaps one or two varieties
Of fertilizer
The soil has nurtured it
It has been dried by hands and machines
Packaged with its Light Buttery Flavor
Or its Movie Theatre Butter Flavor
Which has been mixed and tested
And mixed again by people
In rooms for its consistency,
It’s ability to stay buttery in the microwave
And its vectors of dispersal in the bag,
As the microwave counts down its
Three minutes and forty-five seconds,
All perfectly formulated
For your eating pleasure
And it’s been packaged
In paper bags with special linings
Designed to expand perfectly
With a God like precision
And all of this came to us
Because of the sun and the soil
And the rain and the hands
And the machines and the agrobusinesses
And the factories and the chemists
And the storage container designers
And the taste testers
And the business managers and division heads
And the accountants and auditors
All have a hand in our
Movie Theatre Butter Flavor dinner
Which we look at and think,
Perhaps I’m not eating as healthy
As I thought

And we look,
And we think we see
And we do
But not very deeply.

But we can see deeply, with everything
Everything in our lives.
Even a bag of microwave popcorn.
And when we can see
Really see
We can judge well for ourselves
Deciding, discerning, which gets
The time, the attention, the money, the energy,
And which gets left on the grocery store shelf,
Which gets left at work,
Which stays on the table instead of
Our stomachs, our veins

When we do this
Perhaps we will be surprised
At how much time we have to
Do the things we wish to
Will we be amazed as opportunity
Opens up at our feet, tripping us
Into bliss?
We will be shocked to see
The person we always dreamed we
Could be materializing from the aether
And beckoning us further down the path
Like a doppelganger will ‘o the wisp?

Will fear overcome us
As we look deeply
And keep us from succumbing
To the Beloved’s embrace,
Keep us from hearing that lover’s
Whisper directly into the shell of our
Right ear,

“This is who you really are,
And I love you.”


Fran said...

Wow. Really good. really.


Progressive Pragmatist said...

That's the best poem about microwave popcorn I've ever read.

For more about food, read The Omnivore's Dilemma.