I was running out of patience.
“May I have potato salad?” No.
“Boiled egg?” No.
“Pizza for heaven’s sake?”
How the hell did my name get on the cardiac diet list? Perhaps it was the high blood pressure. But when it came to anything that tasted good, boy, I got nothin’. It’s amazing how contrary a person can be when told “no” about food.
“Where’s the dietician? I want to speak to the nutritionist!”
Was it too much to ask? An omelette with cheese, mushrooms, and spinach? Maybe some French toast? It’s been a long haul from veganism to dairy and, now that I’ve made the trek, I’m out of patience with egg substitutes, salt-free steamed veggies, and bland breakfast cereals.
But this is not really about the eggs. It’s about feeling that I’ve lost control to some of life’s most basic decisions: Pancakes or frittata and toast? Then there was this reflection (I know, I know…) that the egg represents the strength and tenderness of the human spirit.
I started thinking about how the fragile yolk is the source of necessary nutrients; the shell, protection. Then I reflected on the heart as the source of spiritual nutrients; the awareness of the heart, its shell of protection.
I’m not smart enough to come up with these ideas. There are sages with wisdom that I do not possess. I keep trying.
When I was about 11, I watched my paternal grandfather kill a snake that had gotten into the chicken coop. For that unfortunate reptile, the meal was so not worth the effort. As granddaddy beat it with a heavy stick and held its body in the air for us to see, I was stupefied to see the sun-yellow yolk, mixed with bits of shell and egg white, drip from the mouth of the predator.
Recently I received an email from someone who revealed that something I said had hurt her deeply. Added to that was her discomfort with the fact that I did not remember the incident. Hearing her story was like watching the yolk fall from the mouth of the snake. I had moved away from one of life’s most important choices: be aware or unaware.
I felt bad about it. It’s a thin wire we walk; learning to acknowledge personal power and largeness of spirit, while ensuring that every interaction is respectful and empathetic.
Keep the snake out of the chicken coop. Keep the eggs on the plate.