Thursday, March 31, 2011

Every Morning

Every day, my friend Jenny sends the members of our merry band of writers a prompt designed to inspire and provoke ten minutes of writing bliss. Last week, I began sharing these prompts with my friend Jonathan who has since adopted the practice. This morning, Jonathan emailed me his response to the prompt: Every morning...

I thought I'd share it with you.

Every morning, I juice.  

I like saying it: juice!

The word 'juice' carries many connotations.  

It's the memories of my mom's old fashioned orange squeezer and the sweet concoction that she could whip up in minutes.

I've always thought of the orange as the single most compelling argument for atheism. If there were indeed a righteous god, how could he have given all that flavor, aroma and texture to just one of the fruits. No other fruit can compare.

Of course, the counter argument can also be made. Take a fresh orange and bite into it. Experience the sweet aromas that flood your sinuses and the squirting streams of delight that spray your mouth as your teeth tear through the delicate fibers. How could such an experience be were there not some higher power; it is perfect.

Another connotation of juice is steroids, an unnatural form of 'juicing' with a delivery method that is certainly less desirable and a focus that is all about results.

Recently, juice has taken on new connotations for me. It has become life sustaining. It is optimized ingestion of life force, of pure energy.

Every morning, as I assemble vegetables on the counter, I am excited; what great creation will I make today? I pick and choose the types and quantities that after months of daily ritual are still never the same. I cut, I wash, and I set up the order.

Today, it's tomatoes, celery, carrots, cucumber, lemon, ginger, and cucumbers. These are my staples. I add asparagus, chard, kale, collard greens, and spinach, sometimes more, sometimes less, but always a new variety, a new cocktail.  I feed the vegetables one at a time, listening to the augers grind through the fibers, hearing the first drops of life-giving energy fall into the basin below and watching them collect.  As the tide of juice rises, a layer of foam appears on top.

My machine is amazing. I appreciate the engineering and the melding of technology with organic purpose.

Now, I am ready to drink. I pour a glass through strainer, optimizing the pure juice that will be absorbed directly in body, the effects of which I will feel in just ten to fifteen minutes.

I take a sip tasting my latest creation; it is good. I add my spices: salt, turmeric, and pepper (to ensure the best absorption of the turmeric). I control my normal propensity to chug it like a beer on a hot steamy day by interweaving gulps of juice with cleaning components of my juicer. This whole process takes and additional ten minutes. Ten minutes to clean my machine, ten minutes to drink the juice, ten minutes to assure the optimal absorption of nutrients by my body.

As I finish my ritual, I feel great. I feel the energy coursing through my body.

Every day, I start the right way. I am amazed that I have sustained my ritual this long as my rituals tend to drop into the void of non-existence. However, this ritual is different. For me, it is life sustaining and anything that is life sustaining becomes easy when you consider the alternative.

Jonathan Harwood

PS Please don't miss Faith's post, That's not the Earth, below.

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