From time to time, I watch the occasional talk from various TED conferences. These are talks and presentations given by people from nearly every walk of life, and for the most part, they’re fairly interesting.
Yesterday I watched one by a woman named Cynthia Lair, an “organic food educator” (who knew there was such a thing?), titled “How to Cut an Onion.” Watch it, and then continue reading. Yeah, I know it’s 10 minutes, which is a lifetime and a half in our distracted culture, but offer it up.
Granted, she’s a bit loopy and is probably New-Agey to boot – and no way will I be massaging the next steak I grill! Meat hammer all the way to tenderize that puppy!
Still, I liked what she had to say about being present to the food as it’s being prepared. About putting love into the cooking. About how the effort and care that goes into what we prepare for ourselves and our families comes back to us. About how cooking requires all our senses. About how we become more aware about what we eat, and how it affects us.
Just like relationships with people – with our spouses, or kids, or friends. Like Cynthia said – the food is just begging to be noticed! – it is even more so with people, not just those in our own homes, but with every person whose shadow crosses our paths. And she said that without having had to say it.
Our loved ones want us to be present to them. Our relationships need love in order to become and grow. Care and effort must be taken, and when they are, those things will come back to us. And the more aware we are – the more attuned we are to others’ needs and desires, the more we use our God-given senses and emotions – well, that affects us when we act upon them, and truly give other people the attention they deserve, and treat them as fellow sons and daughters of God.
As Catholics, we are called to love and to be present to those whom God has placed in our lives. God is always present to us – and the invisible reality of God’s love is made visible to the world by how we love others (I heard that on a Matthew Kelly talk). And we really truly can’t love others unless we are present to them.
Simple concepts, re-presented in this talk, whether intentionally or not – pointing to the Truth that we are loved, and are called to love others, and be present to them.
And by saying “we”, I’m really saying “me”…
And for me, the bonus was learning how to properly dice an onion.