Saturday, September 5, 2009

I'm an Epicurean

I am a teacher by trade. My subject matter varies from the ironies of religion to the mighty power of worm-tillage and my audience on any given day can be a 7 or a 70 year old. I earn money from this: the university pays me per course (I’m a part-timer.) and a local Montessori school by the hour. I also run workshops on Permaculture gardening and consult in edible landscaping.

I was raised a Christian fundamentalist and so truth came easily. Now I am less secure, but I like to think that my interactions with plants, bees, and Italian farmers offer glimpses of reality. I am happy, whether I am preparing a meal from food I have just harvested or reading a history of Mediterranean cuisines. These two worlds fit together for me. I’m Aristotelian in that I think we become human through conversation and then I’m Epicurean in that cooking is just as important. Just to play with this a little, I used to be high-minded, a Platonist, and you don’t have to be a Creationist to know that life began in a garden.

I’ve racked my brain and walked a few miles to figure out what to do in life. I never made it out of the academic basement, i.e. apart-time lecturer at a mid-grade university and at 61 I’m not going to make any startling moves. But I have tried to keep alive certain passions and a sense of discovery.

The books by my bed tells a lot. Here they are for August-September, 2009:

Infidel Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Banker to the Poor Muhammad Yunus

Formation of Vegetable Mould Charles Darwin

Passage (environmental art) Andy Goldsworthy

Garlic and Oil: Food and Politics in Italy Carol Helstosky

Dress Your Family in Corduroy & Denim David Sedaris

Italian Short Stories, parallel text Ed, Raleigh Trevelyn

Animal Architecture Karl von Frisch

The Portable Atheist Christopher Hitchens

No comments: