Z is for Zen in a Zig Zag Life

Day 26 of Blogging from A to Z.  Today’s letter is Z

Z is for Zen in a Zig Zag Life

zig zag stop start then
deep breath – no help – start again
pour wine – chop carrots

© Perle Champion

My path of late feels like an undisciplined zig zag run through an obstacle course that is obviously of my cook choped vegsown making.  The only place where I really get into the moment, the zazen, is when involved in a kitchen chore, and occasionally in the midst of writing or painting.

The thing about the kitchen chore is there is immediate satisfaction.  I slice and dice and transform the carrot, onion and other veg in to shapes of my design.  I mix and put dough in the oven and soon have a steaming loaf of bread.

The thing with my writing and painting is there is no immediacy.  I paint or write for hours and it never quite feels done.  I drop one piece to begin another and in the end, I have 10 paintings half done; 2 novels unedited; and numerous essays that don’t quite hit the mark.

Does anyone else feel that scattered?


Zen in the Kitchen

More often than not in the last few years, the devil on my left shoulder won out over the angel on my right.  I’ve been letting so much slip.  I can’t pinpoint when it began.  Like most erosion, it’s a gradual thing.

Coming from a large cooking family, I always took pleasure in the preparation of food.  Zen is a good chef’s knife and food to chop, dice, mince, a pot to stir.   Like my morning walk slowly but surely, my healthy eating and cooking habits fell away, too.

Although I still shopped the farmer’s market, that love of kitchen time slipped away.  I let the fresh vegetables and fruit in the fridge spoil.  I opted instead for a quick egg and toast for breakfast, tuna sandwich for lunch, wings from Western’s wing bar for supper, and on Friday a large pizza that I would eat a slice at a time breakfast lunch and dinner over the weekend until it was gone.

And all each slice chased by a beer or two or six a day. (Still on the To-Don’t list – no beer until 5pm this where).

Having the walking habit back in place for the last ten days, it’s now time to realign the foods in my life.  Time to recapture the pleasure in preparing good simple food.

First up is breakfast.  As it’s March, not quite spring yet, but close enough.  It’s time for a little spring tonic, cleanse and to reinstate my spring and summer favorites.  

  • Protein smoothie with berries, oats, yogurt, flax and a spoon of blackstrap molasses is first on the agenda
  • Muesli with yogurt
  • Fresh spinach  frittata in a half pita.
  • Black beans on a warm corn tortilla

Breakfast is a good first step.  I know it’s not enough, but it’s a start.  I didn’t lose my way in a day; I won’t find my way back in a day.  Baby steps.