It took some doing, but I finally made my way through all the doom & gloom on the front page of today's New York Times (we executed somebody last night, healthcare is doomed, and there's not enough of anything we all want to go around) to find something truly blog worthy.
Check out this woman, and her "create a cow from a cow" inspired furnishings. Go ahead. Read it. I'll wait.
At first, looking at those hippopotamus-like benches (not to mention the picture of the guys pouring the plaster cast of the cow's stomach...) I thought, "This woman is nuts...why would anyone call that art?" But then this quote, describing how she got to this place, caught my attention: "She was baffled by the social psychology of a reputed animal-loving nation that felt it had to transform chicken into dinosaur-shaped nuggets to feed to its children."
Hmm...that's an interesting point. Suddenly, I was contemplating the true meaning of the cow couch. Okay, not really. But it got me thinking about the things I don't really think about. It reminded me of a day I had lunch with my mom, where we ordered some sort of fish & chips combo and the fish came in 3 inch triangles. My mom picked up a piece and asked (being from Maine and married to a lobsterman and all) "I wonder what kind of fish is shaped like this?" Then, realizing that the answer was "No fish ever comes in that particular dimention..." we both burst out laughing.
I'm just now starting to give serious consideration to the food I eat. Not so much as a dietary question (I've tried that, and the only motivation that really works is when I need to eat less to fit into my jeans) but as a spiritual one. It sounds kind of hoaky, but if part of a spiritual life is having some sort of awareness of the things God created (and the shape he created them in) it seems like my blind consumption of diosaur-shaped chicken bits might be a missed opportunity. Don't get me wrong--I'm not against dino-themed kids meals or even triangular fish. But before I eat something (or buy something, or make fun of something like a giant hippo-esque cow couch) I can ask, "Um, God...what's going on here?" and see if he has anything to say.
I'm not brave enough to ask that question when reading the front page of the Times. It's too overwhelming. But I can ask it about the little things, and trust that that's enough to start a conversation. Right now, I have a page of "extra smooth" tofu in the fridge. If that doesn't inspire a "what's going on here?" conversation, I don't know what will.