Friday, August 17, 2012

What's In Your Sandwich?

If I could give just one bit of advice to the world, it would be this: look carefully at your sandwich before you eat it.

Let me begin by saying I love sandwiches. Peanut butter and banana, roast beef and cheese, cranberry Tofurkey. I don't care. They're great.

And then there's the bread. The texture and maltiness of a pretzel roll. Some nice crunchy multigrain on a tangy tomato sandwich. Even plain old squeezy white bread will do in a pinch. But my latest favorite, thanks to local culture, is the crusty Cuban bread on a hot pressed Cuban sandwich. Preferably eaten on the beach and guarded carefully from seagulls.

And before anyone asks, I'm not even talking about the kind of 'sandwiches' discussed on How I Met Your Mother. I mean the kind you EAT (although of course I will be speaking metaphorically as well).

My point is, I have had so many wonderful sandwiches over the years that I have come to expect that every sandwich will be good. So it's tempting not to bother investigating a little and just assume.

Assuming is what I did one day years ago, when I had an appointment I was very enthusiastic to make on time. I had just my own strong legs to carry me from the bus to the building and very little time. I stopped into a gas station and bought a croissant sandwich with ham in it, or some kind of related meat. Actually, to this day I am not sure what was in it, and therein lies the problem.

I paid for it and started munching briskly as I walked just as briskly down the road to my destination. It wasn't the best sandwich I'd ever had. I wondered if they just used cheap meat or something. Whatever. I was hungry, and it was food--right?

By the time I'd eaten half of the sandwich, I looked at it closely in the sun and saw something that does not belong in any variety of sandwich. The croissant was shot full of blue streaks of mold.

Naturally, I stopped right then. The mold did not end up making me sick in the slightest, and I got to my event on time. And yet: I ate mold!

Now, you could theoretically say that it's not so bad. Perhaps I should be grateful for the hands who prepared the sandwich and sold it to me. Perhaps I should remember that under certain controlled circumstances, penicillin can save your life.

I don't buy it. I draw the line here.

There is a difference between seeing the best in a situation and seeing little bits of goodness left in the middle of corruption. I have heard the latter called silver mining. I don't believe in silver mining. I believe in looking at life in the sunshine instead of the dim fluorescent lights of the store and seeing what I can see. If it is good, great! If not, I don't have to eat it.

What a freeing thought: you don't have to eat it. As a charter member of the Clean Plate Club, I am amazed at what this revelation has done for my life. I don't have to stay with abusive 'friends' like I did when I was a kid. I don't have to participate in activities that do nothing for me just because they're popular. I don't have to date someone who does me wrong just because some of what the person does is right. That sandwich I don't want is not the only sandwich in the world.

Where's the Pagan connection? It's right there in your tarot deck.

My friend Byron, who has probably been reading tarot since she was in diapers, says we are living in Tower Time.  In other words, what has been previously taken for granted as The Way Things Are is coming down, sooner than later. However, it's not time to panic. It's time to see what you can see and do what you need to do. Her neverending refrain is to ground, center, and shield. Good advice.

When someone points out to you that the Tower you live in is crumbling--or when you discover this for yourself--don't take it personally and don't be afraid. It's the alarm going off, and it's there for a purpose.

It's okay to get out, whether this is a drill or not.

It's okay to put down the sandwich.

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