Death ratio

I’ve come to realize something about the seafood that I eat. If I buy scallops, it takes 10 to 15 scallops to make one serving. The same is true for shrimp.

Scallops and shrimp are living creatures. That means 10 to 15 individual creatures had to die in order for me to eat. The death ratio is higher.

If I buy fish, then each fish produces two fillets. Each fillet is two servings. Therefore for one death that is four servings. The death ratio is much lower.

Some of this is about making a smaller impact in the world. If I’m not going to go vegetarian, I should at least think about my karmic impact. If something has to die for me to live, it is better if it is less than more. If I can make four meals out of one death, that is better.

Seeing bird nests

I was at a retreat recently, and a lady said she loved late fall because you could see the bird nests. All the leaves were gone, and these things which had always been there were suddenly revealed.

This was very valuable to me.

I’d never liked this time of year because it seemed so dreary. After the long lazy warmth of summer and the glorious display of colors of the leaves of fall, I’d always felt let down by late fall. The trees are bare skeletons, the air is cold, windy, and wet. The next thing was winter- even colder, even windier, even wetter. Nothing to see here. Move along.

But this was different. A treasure was revealed to me by her words. After the winds and storms had passed, we are granted insight and access to a truth previously hidden from us. It was there all along. That which I had hated had done me a favor.

Perhaps I simply require a change of perspective.

Perhaps that which I saw as destruction is showing me what really matters. Perhaps that which I am fighting against is actually doing me a favor.

Think of this. Soup isn’t really soup until heat has been added to it. You put the ingredients together, add heat, and wait. The stuff you don’t want rises to the surface, right in front of you. Then you can skim it off, and your soup is better because of it. The heat is the catalyst.

I’m starting to feel that difficulties and troubles are the heat that shows me what needs to be removed from my life. I’m starting to feel that adversity and struggle are the winds and storms that reveal what really matters too. Instead of fighting and lamenting, I’m looking with new eyes. What needs to stay? What must go? I look at whatever I am doing and see if it serves my goal. Does it bring me further to where I want to be, or hold me back?