Something’s been bothering me about my previous post — I think I haven’t been clear and direct enough. The post isn’t about the quote — nor is it really about spices.
It’s about the grabbing and grasping and selfishness that’s coming to characterize our American society ; and how alien that is to our reality, our history, and our ideals.
There’s a link here to Penzeys catalog ( just click on the link and page through to Bill Penzey’s “editorial”) so we all can hear what Wisconsin businessman Bill Penzey is saying, publicly, in his company’s catalog about America and Americans. He restores my faith in my fellow Americans after Wisconsin’s shocking repudiation of working men and bargaining and teachers— TEACHERS!!!!!— and the tacit repudiation of compassion and compromise.
Here’s plain speaking at its best, reinforced by the many people from Wisconsin whose cooking stories are interspersed in the catalog pages — Their cooking stories are also their life stories, and their philosophies, and their values. Like I say — I found it restorative. And I think I need to say this flat out, instead of leaving it tacit.
One may only get that which he is willing to let go of.
The cool water of the running stream may be scooped up with
open, overflowing palms.
It cannot be grasped up to the mouth
with clenching fists,
no matter what thirst motivates
our desperate grab.
Sheldon Kopp, The Buddha Book
The implications of this truth are vast, in physics, relationships, personality, character, and –most important and urgent — politics and public policies. We Americans ignore it at our peril.
(I urge everyone to take a look at page 62 of the Summer 2011 catalog of Penzeys Spices, of all things. Not necessarily to order spices! — although I use lots of Penzeys spices myself — but to read Bill Penzey’s “One for the Road” with which he concludes every issue of the catalog. His is an extraordinary statement, and the cooking stories of contributors, which always appear in every issue, are extraordinary this time as well. Here are real people of Wisconsin — in their own unfiltered voices.)