Pork Chops and Eckhart Tolle

It is impossible to predict what will happen to us from one moment to the next. On my way to the subway this morning I grabbed V.’s copy of Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth for the ride [note that V. did not buy this new age book, but was given it to read]. I will be the first to admit that I love self-help gurus and their simple insanity. How can you not love Tom Cruise’s zeal for Scientology, Tony Robbin’s insistence that change is just steps away and the entire Oprah pantheon of authors who know which cook in the kitchen to pander to? Even as a kid, I loved this stufff – heck, I am made of this stuff in my Jay Gatsby fashion. But before I rant about Tolle, how about I rave on the pork chop I prepared for dinner tonight.

It is not every day that you can find an artisinal piece of meat in Toronto, but on my way home I found a glorious smoked pork chop from Huron County, Ontario. I decided to pan grill it along with a fresh Forelle pear and finish them off with a balsamic glaze. Think of a really good rib-eye steak with salty-ham goodness, and you balance that with a warm pear that has just begun to caramelize. I found peace and tranquility for a moment, and then decided to photograph it with the new Hasselblad 120mm Makro lens. I bought this lens especially for food and product photography. It will undoubtedly become my main lens for the next few months as that type of work begins to roll in again.

Back to Eckhart Tolle…I don’t know, but he kind of disturbs me. So many of the things he ponders about world religions, disassociating with the ego, and moving away from self-definition through consumption sound right, but then it leaves me wondering what that leaves beyond beige coat sweaters and silence. Yes, it would be nice to be all calm and serene, to know thyself and become a better person; but where is the adventure, the struggle and the experiences that make life so meaningful in the bigger picture? Where do you go when you want to dance with your fears in the darkest of places, if only so that you can appreciate the light that much more in the morning?  I will finish Eckhart’s book, but I am a doubting Thomas when it comes to becoming changed forever by his words. I am all for turning down the digital noise, connecting with the people who matter in the world, and keeping someplace sacred from the outside world, but there are too many experiences to be lost when one only seeks solace from within; in my mind that would be a mediocrity that tastes like chicken.

Did I mention the great pork chop that had fat you just had to eat because it tasted that good? Commune, consume and consummate, my pirate friends. Arrrrgh!



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