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Out on the Limb


Saturday, February 10, 2007

My earliest childhood memory is from age two. My parents were renting a house on a large farm in New Jersey. My sister would walk with me down the dirt lane next to the crops. My memory is:

I found and identified a single stalk of asparagus growing near the ditch.
I didn't know what it was called, but I knew it was edible
from observation at family meals.
I picked the asparagus and took it to my mother.
She told me she could not be bothered cooking one stalk of asparagus
for the family meal
and she threw it in the trash.

I cried.

Now here's the thing. My Mom thought I was crying because I didn't get my way, and that is a reasonable assumption, especially when dealing with two year olds.

But I remember how I felt,
which was
that I had picked a living thing
for no good reason
and there it was
lying in the trash
to rot
and it was my fault.
I had killed it needlessly;
The stalk was waste.

Do most children feel this way about all living things, but forget?
Did lessons in my past lives cause me to empathize strongly with plants?
Was I simply reacting to an already-established guilt-blame pattern?
Did I feel stupid for assuming an edible thing must be eaten if picked?
Why did this memory stick?
I felt traumatized.
I felt ashamed that I felt traumatized over such a "little thing".

Now look at our environment.
posted by Deb, 9:55 AM


Hi Deb. It's Sage. I found your blog from referrers to karmacarpentry.com and I read a lot of it. It's great to read the more personal things like 100 things about yourself, and this memory of asparagus. And the sight of the child being blamed. I notice things like that - how children learn values through interactions. It's pervasive.

Anyway, I wanted to comment that after I recommended that book "A New Earth", I started reading it and it really didn't resonate with me. It's good writing, I think, but I'm more into the concrete and practical stage right now, and it's so fluffy and generalized. I also have problems with overgeneralization in the book. Like "possessions" - Tolle demonizes them in general, but to me there are levels and layers of ego-bound possession versus posession for good use... and I could go on but I won't. Wanted to qualify my recommendation.

It's good to see a burst of new life in someone after a big life change. Very hopeful and inspiring.
commented by Blogger Sage, 2:52 AM  
Hi Sage. Many thanks for your support. About the book---got it from the library and haven't been able to work my way past 2nd chapter. I looked author up online and watched a couple videos of his speeches. I agree with your assessment.

It's a time for action, and although I'm still pretty confused I'll need to plough forward...doubts and all.
commented by Blogger Deb, 5:15 AM  

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