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Planting and Praying

Bulbs often provide the first color of Spring. Native wildflowers bloom later and provide food for butterflies and bees. Wildflowers are often considered to be just weeds. This past winter, I learned that a weed I’ve been pulling from along my sidewalk is edible. Purslane, annual in some climates and perennial in others, provides calcium and oxalate. Oxalates, in spinach and some other greens, binds with calcium preventing calcium’s absorption, preventing kidney stones in one person, and detracting from bone health in another. We’re all different.

I count vitamins and minerals first, then calories. My focus has shifted from an external locus of control where I try to look fit, to wanting to feel good, as in healthy. Feeling healthy involves feeling like myself. It’s good for people to trust themselves more because nature can be cruel, and following that, cruel systems can keep people banded together under banners intended to keep danger at bay. Tyrants succeed by terrorizing people. The bigger and worse the tyrant, the more likely people stay in line out of fear. Fear is a thing.

The earth and everything in it are comprised of energy. We feel energy more than we see it. We don’t see the wind; we see what’s blown by the wind. Neurotransmitters travel within and outside of us forming our consciousness based on our experience. Most people were raised amid some carrot and stick motivational principles; with some authority grooming children to be abused by instilling fear and shame in them. Currently, there is much partisan blather about who grooms whom and for what; it sounds like the same old sexualizing, gender-biased stuff dirty-minded, virtue-signaling people have always projected onto others.

Projection, in psychological terms, is the process of displacing one’s feelings onto
a different person, animal, or object. Ancient cultures create scapegoats onto whom collective guilt and hopes were projected and then banished or offered up. Goats were driven into the desert. Lambs were roasted and portions of the meat distributed ritualistically.

Sexual taboos tended to scapegoat girls and women because girls and women get pregnant. I was in my thirties taking an anthropology class when I first heard that girls are internally fertile prior to their first visible discarding of uterine lining; this seems obvious, but it was news to my classmates and is still news to some nurses and therapists with whom I’ve updated health history.

Nature designed male and female to be different with differences within differences; our understanding of how things work hasn’t quite caught up with what is known about physiology and neurophysiology. For instance, when I think of optimal sex-education,I think first of dopamine awareness. Then, I sadly think of how most cultures describe, prescribe, and proscribe what and how girls and women should think about themselves both during their fertile years and their optimal childbearing years. Femininity, feminine generativity, and feminism are still regarded within a larger male-defined socioeconomic perspective. Males are adversely affected too.

Oh, I also learned reading anthropology, and this makes sense, early humans might not have automatically connected the dots between mammalian rutting and the emergence of new life weeks or months later. A hunter or gatherer might see the hatching of eggs in a nest. It is less likely that they would see, for instance, deer rutting and then quickly see a fawn drop from its mother’s body; the mother would have taken shelter out of view. It’s more likely some human mother and male noticed years after a birth, that likely would have taken place far from male view, that a particular child physically resembled a particular male. Such recognition may have kicked off the first marriage ceremonies, but we’ll never know; any meaning we assign to a supposed past is projection. While, most pre-adolescents know how babies are made, it’s only recently that DNA could prove who the father is. Mother nature probably doesn’t care.

As for my garden, I’ve read that there are inedible types of purslane as well as nutritious varieties. Ancient gatherers identified edible plants through trial and error. We get most of our information from books or online media. Much of my early experience was lost for years to brain injury so I read neuroscience. Sometimes I ask the universe, should I keep writing about this stuff?

I wrote and discarded an entire column this month about how Orthodox Christians are conflicted about praying for Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. Kirill sides with Putin and many Orthodox Christians are being killed and injured by Putin’s violence. Kirill and Putin see the west as decadent, which is code for weak: code for “feminine.”

Debra Merryweather