Speaking in a rippling wave

    I realize why I don’t blog as much as many people. Some people state that they have to write, like there is some inner impetus that drives it. I enjoy writing for what it is; an expression of ideologies, perhaps certain emotions, but as a completely defining medium in which to convey everything, not so much.

   There is a dimension missing from the written word, no matter how flowery the language, how much it connects. There needs to be the extra dimension of speaking. The connection of one person reverberating sound and that sound being received by the other has a mystical element that is erased when written. Both the speaker and the listener have a part in this means of communication. The speaker expresses their ideas in a way that can be understood to the listener. There may be misunderstandings in any conveyance, but when there is a common understanding the strength of the spoken word is much more powerful than anything that could be written.

   When the speaker is understood and understands that the listener feels it, it generates a sensation that is only a shadow in the written word.  It has been referred to in many ways: the flushing of the senses, the filling of the heart, the easing of the mind. However it is expressed, however one conveys the sensation, the sensation is always a direct sense and writing about it is always a secondary product.

   In the Dark Ages after the Roman Empire, when bands of nomadic peoples roamed throughout Europe, dangers were at every corner. If you weren’t being persecuted for religious differences, you were looted of anything valuable, or killed for the sheer thrill of it. Amidst this time of turmoil, there existed a small group of people seemingly impervious to any dangers. They remained in a group, repeating, what oftentimes was wordless sound. Over and over they repeated this protective sound. It was not quite chant, not quite prayer, and it not so much healed as protected them from any ill will.

   This phenomenon was known as Alexipharmica. It’s roots eventually developed into what would be modern medicine. That which prevented poison or illness. The roots of pharmacy in a simple cacophony of sound.

   Religions have touched upon this phenomenon with prayer or chanting. Scientific methods have studied it in auditory and vibrational therapy, but at its core it is the every day conversation with a friend who understands that brings this concept forward most concretely.

   Every time you speak aloud to someone who cares, someone who genuinely listens, you are protected. That reverberation of sound, that rippling wave shared, colliding with the person before you, sharing that sensation, heals, giving you strength to proceed for another day.

Crunchy Slaw

   Normally when one is given a traditional coleslaw, it is soft, limp and lacking any textural diversity. Occasionally you may get a recipe with walnuts or apple, but overall the crunchy satisfaction of a crouton, for example, isn’t present. Little chunks of bread are nice and all, but I thought of a different crunch when I noticed a local grain grower recently harvested some quality organic oats. I’ve been kicking around the idea of flax clusters in my head for awhile and finally thought a savoury application might be interesting. And a late autumn trip to one of the local farmer’s markets inspired the coleslaw.

 

Savoury Flax-Oat Granola

2 Tbsp Gold Forest Grains flax seeds

1 cup water

2 Tbsp Coal Lake Honey Farms honey

1-1/2 cups Gold Forest Grains regular oats

1 tsp coriander seeds, ground

1 tsp crushed dried chillis, ground

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

   In a small saucepan, bring flax seeds and water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the liquid becomes gelatinous (like the texture of an egg white). Remove from heat, stir in honey, spices and oats and spread in a thin layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Break up the mixture into rough pieces and bake for a further 25-30 minutes until deeply golden in colour and dried. Can be stored in a resealable container for up to a week.

 

Autumn Coleslaw

3 Peas On Earth rainbow carrots (I used one yellow, one red and one purple carrot), shredded

1 cup Riverbend Gardens cabbage, shredded

1/2 cup Riverbend Gardens onion, shredded

1/4 cup Okanagan Harvest dried cherries, halved

1/2 cup Bles Wold plain yogurt

1/2 cup Rainbow Acres crabapple jelly

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

     In a medium bowl, combine the carrots, cabbage, onion, cherries until uniformly blended. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, jelly, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the shredded vegetables and stir until uniformly combined. To serve, top with Savoury Flax-Oat Granola.