men of ephesus, what person is there who does not know that the city of the ephesians is the keeper of the temple of the great diana and of her image that fell from heaven ? – acts 19:36
A Christian god was a strange savior to me as a child of love. That was when I was a young blood in church, after all, and when a child goes to church and tries to read the Bible, it’s better to not think about the differences. I wore dresses and I didn’t even feel safe in them. I mean, why did we, as small girls, have to wear dresses when churches are dangerously cold while warmth is outside? It is Tennessee summer after all and it’s terribly nice to wear a worsted suit because they have layers and I want those layers on me even if it likens me to a short, male grown up. Of course I didn’t know about the differences between penance and piety until later but maybe you already know Revelations.
One time I went from one church building to another house of god and there was the same Bible at both but I couldn’t sup the same things as the rest of the church body. They claimed devotion had something to do with holy water and communion, but I didn’t look into false prophets. As a small child I thought all communicants should get the same crackers and grape juice because god would break bread with me if I am hungry at his table, even if I didn’t bathe in clean water and had holey cups. My small, fervid head thought that other church heads would probably chase me out of the fold if I said that out loud so it kept quiet. Besides, they let me sing psalms in their choir as a soprano!
Later my reticent brain developed an ardor for divine liturgy because the preacher would read from his own and I could recite along and that’s perfect because I loved literature as well as music. This practice would be educational since I enjoyed deciphering parables even if it eventually got apocalyptic. I was a contrite heart with hailstone garments… but I had a hard time imagining hell while gripping a Bible with frozen fingers. Eternal fire is in a faraway place in time. Mum children can’t inspire symbols from cymbals if their parents divorced before they could lay a foundation for deliverance from fiery brimstones. So I probably read a thing or two to keep the church body from ousting me out of their singing choir but I didn’t articulate I was going to hell because that sanctuary was a tundra of pews and I kept a habit of wearing dresses in fiery deserts. I just hoped for worship services in the heat of the sun because small me was skinny as a church rail that thought it could never get sunburns. I would grow up to find sunburns but I remained skinny – if there is a hell it probably would have done my soul some good to find a paradise of thawed hymnals so I could wear woolen pants and merino mittens.
Even if I didn’t have faith in his deadly heaven or fiery abyss, I still repented for a jealous god. He is love – he told me so and I read it a lot because I went to his house a lot. I even sung those same phrases with other orthodox children who were bigger than my little I. My bible was the original King James version – a colorful specimen with gold leafing. The engraving was also gold – I thought that was a clever thing to do to a poor book since I’ve yet been given mortal riches. They also added pastel pigments to each page which represented a different subject – my golden name was engraved on the cover because if you have a special Bible, you should write your name on it even if you didn’t write it. What if you lose it? A nice person will return it so you can hold it eternally. So I kept that Bible because it helps me to hold my leafy memory of icy habitats and dressy habits even when you are dying. I don’t have much desire to read it anymore…
Some of my favorite things about attending church often involves recurring festivities. Other juveniles were observant too because when it was near Easter, the little kids would be on a mission to find a nice house of worship that had plenty of tall, green grass in a sprawling lawn. We knew those churches will have the best grassy veil of chicken eggs. We ate bunnies and eggs in chocolate form and I wore new pastel dresses… it’s practically like a pious, celebratory feast unless your name is Christ. I knew that as long as I was warmed with edibles I was passionate but then I would sob uncontrollably during the freezing service because most of the time sanctuaries have reenactments using adult-sized crosses and my tenderness couldn’t handle the human embodiment of our lamb being stabbed while I was singing, even if I knew a sad song was written for love not idolatry.
I nourished a young heart so I also believed him when he asked me to love no other gods and only love him and his dad who had a short name like little ol’ me. They were both struck with jealousy according to preachers. This was a little weird because both of them said that contrite love was not envious. Divine fidelity is loving many mortals but you cannot love any other gods. I was confusing atonement with immoral marriages since this was practically my first introduction to timeless marriages. By the time I could pray, my parents were divorced and everyone around me practically wanted to divorce humanity for the rest of eternity. My young prayer was to a god who everybody could love and he will not divorce you even if he was actually loving every body at the same time. This covenant was a ridiculous thing to say out loud, even more so than hell when I couldn’t control my anger in his house. It didn’t matter because he was a brave walkman singing of sacrificing his body for imperfect bodies as you and me – he is a song of love, sacrament embodied, but Agape is more like finding faith while losing one’s hope flocking to a Chapel. It is like that, an imperfect contrition. Christ will love imperfect you and he might sacrifice himself for me, but it’s hard to believe because his book is a bit contradictory like life. Old covenants promise heaven because life is imperfect. Most people will repent because it’s nice to have love if one is to be singing eternally in bliss. Mortal lambs can’t offer this. When they do, they certainly can’t do it as consistently. Even if I didn’t see the lamb on a cross, it’s possible someone at some time definitely got sacrificed in the name of love for the sake of another and that is a lot more probable than faith in gates made of pearls for loving people you can’t see. Thankfully we ask for small sacrifices of each other all the time, but we hope it is not a cruel thriller.
So I became a sole walker in sandy shoes and false readings about love since the book said loving is sacrificing lambs’ blood and not sharing your secret songs to another mortal, even if those secrets cannot be whole truths. Only he can walk with death and still talk of it afterwards. It’s only three days but he suffered his own hell and most people are hardly worth the satisfaction. Maybe I could surrender my own blood? Or maybe a real, physical body could do the same for me but perpetually? I just didn’t know I could just pray for honest devotion here or there, since even the Bible can write contradictions about contrition.
I eventually learned that everyone who put faith in lambs are always getting jealous because it’s a thing even a god can feel, and not just big him. It’s hard to not feel jealous because a mortal body can only be in one place. If an omnipresent god must die for three days, how many days can a body sacrifice for another? I had a hard time walking about with honest feelings as it was and I am still hard as a rock when it comes to evolving legs overnight. It’s probably why I now liken charity to love because at the very least, I can offer some pretty vegetables on a clean plate without dropping my own blood. It is nicer if I didn’t have to bleed a dead or living animal in the name of god. Only a few people will agree with me about that. It’s ok though because when you love imperfections, it doesn’t mean you agree about how much blood to spill, but you should at least have sweet prayers over real food. People with books sometimes like to sing to god and neurotics walk themselves to sleep at night – I think it’s good to find at least one other tone for the day? If not, I can always sing my song to a real animal but not all animals are songbirds. It’s better if I don’t have to kill them to live, but that is a necessary sacrifice. Perhaps I should not be cruel, but show humanity beforehand and afterwards since they cannot be born again.
Dionysian diets are more than just loving innocence because it must pass, or merciless singing as you stab another while crying sorrow for an old love. Most people shouldn’t think this way but I had a month of love pangs and I think of imperfection when I think a perfect lamb must bleed forever. Or that I must choose to turn from their house and bleed elsewhere. It is only because a love of lambs will make you feel as if your sacrifices are not enough even if you have been bleeding ceaselessly. I didn’t spend an eternity growing vegetables and milking cows but I take their entire life’s hours into my own body. It’s a sad conclusion when one is struck with sudden pangs of guilt and the same guilt goes with you to the dinner table rather than hunger. You just sit there and think about where your love is hiding and how it can move onto your plate. If he is real, there wouldn’t be so much pain just so we could continue praying to people we love, especially him.
If I pardon an animal, I don’t have to do it till death to understand a sacrament is how you keep walking and talking. Even if it means sowing seeds of plants – I told myself that then I went and bought some nuts because I know a lot of seed lovers on the internet might enjoy miso-nuts. I was planning on sharing a few years from now when they might manifest in print stories about my salty love for Japanese foods but they are sweetly simple and these words are not. I prefer dichotomy when reciting a recipe even if they do not share the same geography and time.
There is of course something diabolical about consuming nuts and seeds – that is you get to exorcise things that might sprout and flower into edibles, but bigger, possibly even a bigger thing than you are if your feet are small and slow moving. This is a pretty extraordinarily pessimistic thought of course, so I chanted this incantation as I was feeling perfect rather than imperfect attrition: just enjoy more seeds, it might not grow now, but you will grow, love might grow elsewhere – perfect paradise or an imperfect lamb. Babies of animals are an easy love because they are innocent. Perhaps even more easy to love than a god because they cannot ask me to love them and no other cute animals, even if they knew I might one day eat them to live and still find my own hell. It’s harder to resist their cuteness because I exist as some words on the internet and I will have likely enjoyed more of them than me as I am pursuing pictures of pretty food. I know I can put this miso nut-butter on some magic bread and think of the milk they might be having in order to remain cute. On a different day I can summon regular miso butter of animal milk and cast a memory of someone I once loved and still think it was lovely to have had someone’s voice when we’ve talked together or conjure a vision of their feet as we’ve walked together. Seeds are unlike food or love because even when it’s consummated it flourishes my insides for a long time and don’t sublimate as shifting sand. When that happens it is hopeless hunger – but if I eat I can continue to sing songs of salvation for others with my own voice for those who can’t resurrect.
~ 3 tb nut butter of choice (suggestions: walnut, pecan, peanut, roasted pistachios, cashews)
~ 1 tb miso
1 tb sugar dissolved 1 tb boiling water (optional)
+ These are not exacting measures bc some people might want a saltier butter. Depending on your miso of choice, it can be very salty compared to another variety of a different brand. When cooking, I typically use a yellow miso since that allows me to get more soy protein with less salt.
+ I suggest buying nut butters for this so you don’t have to process it for yourself. I get mine at Wholefoods or Rainbow Grocery since they have a nut-processor at the store. Just keep it refrigerated!
+ When mixing, start with miso and add an equal amount of butter. Slowly blend until completely incorporated. Then, add another portion of nut butter and continue until it is combined. If you add miso into a giant batch of butter it will be extremely hard to incorporate evenly. You needn’t use a food processor but you could try? I typically do this by hand so it’s not bubbly and it can be pretty messy in a food processor.
+ The sugar is optional. If you like honey you can sweeten it with honey, agave syrup or the likes…
To make your own, start with a radish and cut off the leaves but leave a but of green on the end for the nose. Then, slice off 3 thin slivers from the same side of the radish – this allows it to sit on a flat surface. Eat the one with the red skin. Use the remaining 2 for ears. To attach the ears, cut a wedged shape slit on the side oppose of the cut you’ve just created but close to the nose of your mouse. If you can’t wedge your ears into this cut, slowly increase the thickness until it does fit snugly – be careful to not make it too wide.
Serve:I like buying the large packages of rye cocktail bread bc it’s a good way to have snacks when you don’t want to slice bread (I know… that lazy). You can choose your own option, but rye is a lovely grain to explore. It’s capable of growing in poor soils so I adore it.
***When I was photographing these photos and eating my bloodless butter and trinity mice – my nose started bleeding profusely. Of course that made things a bit un-vegan, but it was funny. If there is a god, I made him laugh. Evidently.