Crayfish and Dimple HaigStephen Farah
Many, many moons ago, when my wife and I were still young and the seeds of potential lay as yet unsheathed in our loins, we were teetotallers.
Not teetotallers exactly, not in the strict definition of the word. God knows we painted the ceiling of Time Square Cafe’ pink with the spray of several bottle’s of J. C. Le Roux. Prior to lifting David Duev, the proprietor, over the bar counter in a single move to urgently embrace him and demonstrate our passion for his fine establishment, on more than one occasion.
However my point is other than these overt displays of our youthful vitality where blowjobs, tequila and J. C Le Roux acted in thier role as social lubricants, we truly had no appreciation for alcohol. We never for example entertained the idea of buying alcohol for home and hardly ever drank except on special occasions.
Being mavericks we were want to offer our guests a choice between fruit juice and coffee or tea at any event we hosted at our home and had some difficulty in understanding our guests early departure.
That is until one day, a truly auspicious day, a friend gave us a bottle of Dimple Haig as a gift. Now of all alcoholic choices, whiskey particularly had been foresworn for its unpleasant, peaty and bitter aftertaste.
The bottle sat silently waiting to deliver its rich, smooth and aromatic treasure to our palates for some months. Until on one cold and stormy night we were struck by an unusual idea maybe we should open the bottle and have a whiskey with our supper.
As you may have guessed, so began a long love affair with Dimple Haig and other not only Dimple Haig but many, many other fine whiskeys. Amongst our favourites over the years have been Glenmorangie, Johnny Walker, Chivas and Bushmills to name but a few.
Through the subtle seduction of Dimple we were introduced into a new world. A brotherhood, if you will, of those who appreciate a good whiskey on occasion. Who are able and want to round off a good meal or a special occasion with a drop of the old mother’s milk.
A Quick and Nasty Holiday Romance with the Grouse
So as I say we had become appreciators of good whiskey. Forswearing the vagaries and rough edges of the cheaper brands, but nevertheless appreciating a wide range of good whiskeys.
That is until recently on holiday in Tofu Mozambique. One lazy late afternoon as we sat on the balcony overlooking the magnificent coast, grilling a couple of crayfish that had been fished out of the ocean that morning, Anja (my wife), much life Eve in the biblical tale, said what about a drink then?
So it was my brothers and only friends I blush to the roots of the hair on my fine head when I admit to you we fished a bottle of In-Famous Grouse out of our host Ziet’s storeroom. Not only did we fish it out but we had oral relations with it. Not only that afternoon either, if truth be told, we polished it off in the week that we were there. Over crayfish, prawns, paella made with fresh mussels, crabs and fish so fresh and beautiful staring at us poignantly with its glassy (but unclouded) eyes one was want to eat a little as sashimi.
A Return to Sanity but with a Yearning for the Sea
When we returned home, we put that unseemly flirtation out of our minds and returned to our more civilised ways of the African Colonials and those who although African by birth have assumed much of the colonialists decadence.
However a strange thing happened with seafood. Now unlike the whiskey story, as a family (yes that’s right it’s a family now. That is what having the odd whiskey on a dark and stormy night results in ultimately. As the Merovingian says action- reaction, cause ‘affect) we were eating seafood prior to the holiday in Mozambique.
Anyway to wit. We are not averse to swinging past Something Fishy, on occasion particularly if we are having the veraaier over for lunch. He likes his fish & chips you know living as does amongst the rooinecks.
On our return though we found ourselves not only frequenting the local fishmonger more often but serving up a prawn and muscle chowder for by brother and his family at Sunday lunch.
Anja (God Bless Her) Makes a Connection
‘You know I’ve been thinking about something which you may be able to write a blog about.’
‘Hmm,’ I said looking up rather truculently from War & Peace, which I was hoping to finish in this lifetime.
‘Do you remember how we got introduced to whiskey through the Dimple? And after that we could drink virtually any whiskey?’
‘Well have you noticed how much seafood we have been eating since we got back from holiday?’
‘Yes, I have actually,’ I said perking up a bit now and realising that Anja was in muse mode.
‘I’m not sure but I think there is something interesting to that. Once you sample something really good it’s as though you have that image and can find a trace of that even in an inferior version of the same thing.’
‘Hmm that is interesting.’
‘I think that is why I stopped going to (name withheld) (a Taoist Health and Meditation Centre we joined earlier this year.). The problem is that although we might be going for the stretching and breathing, you are unconsciously breathing in the dogma as well. And you know how I feel about that,’ she said pulling her face.
‘I mean, think about this,’ Anja went on in full stride now, ‘Bernard (a friend of ours, previously agnostic, who in a time of some personal distress and much soul searching turned to Alpha) has been going to Alpha for a while now. How big a step do you think it would be for him to end up at Sunday Mass?’
A Jungian Nugget
I must concur with Anja’s comments. (Anyway trust me it’s far too dangerous not to ) They illustrate and expand my last post about apperception.
It is like Joseph Lebos once said to me- You need to learn how to win.
Everything we do, everything we choose, every experience we have has a meaning and an implication which goes beyond the act, choice or experience itself. Our lives are a construction of concepts, memories, idea, beliefs and experiences.
As we acquire one, another becomes possible by virtue of the first’s acquisition (the original experience).
A great martial artist, an aikido master once said to me there are different levels of mastery in aikido:
Untrained: my attacker throws a punch – I get hit in the face.
First Level of Mastery: my attacker throws a punch ‘ I retaliate and defeat him.
Second Level of Mastery: my attacker throws a punch ‘ I take evasive action and retaliate.
Third Level of Mastery: I see my attacker whilst he is still on the other side of the room and take evasive action before he arrives.
Fourth (and ultimate) Level of Mastery: my attacker fails to appear, I have taken evasive action prior to him appearing in the manifest world.
In other words the Ultimate Master doesn’t go to the bar where the attack exits (latently) because he has sufficient foresight to see the unfolding potential of the path he walks through the cosmos.
Consciousness like life is cumulative. Every choice we make allows the possibility of things currently unknown or out of reach to become possible. So every choice either takes us further along a path we are already on or opens up a new path.
Each action, each experience is a doorway to a way of being in the world and its ripples are felt long after the original choice or action is left behind.