Remembering my Uncle Ole'
Two ears, one mouth, and ten fingers to cover it with. So many things I "could have" written of, these past three months, in an effort to make connections. But oftener and often, I feel that all my connections are ships in the night, that personal communication is merely a proxy for or distraction from what's really going on, that "what's really going on" transcends space and time, and death.
I found out last night that my Hanai uncle Ole' left this embodiment two days ago. He was in his 70s--younger than my dad, older than my mom. As far as I understand, for the type of cancer with which he was fairly recently diagnosed, the demise was mercifully rapid. We were ships in the night; we were also deeply connected. In a post-Ole' world, will I still be so sure that deep connections transcend depth?
No perfect solutions; Tough lessons on due diligence
All the way back in early March, I reported that I’d had a root-canaled front tooth extracted. Almost half a year on, we’re well overdue for an update.
Summary: getting the tooth yanked was definitely a good idea. Root canals have no blood supply to bring oxygen and carry away toxins, but they are perfectly placed to pick up and harbor infections and, again, no blood supply means no white blood cells to deal with infections. Mine didn’t smell bad like some people report, but there were visible signs of infection.
However, the “thereafter” portion of missing a front lateral incisor, the cosmetic aspect, how to fill the gap… that’s been a much bigger issue than I was prepared for. In retrospect, I wish I had done a lot more research and acquired more of a roadmap for what I was getting into. I have something to fill the gap right now, but the story is far from over.
Once the tooth is gone, no replacement is going to be perfect, and I ran into unexpected issues with effects on my neurological functioning.
interrogating the words to understand the experience
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.” John Muir.
To return is to go back to a former position, to turn and change direction, go back the way you came. So, a homecoming, Penelope at the end of the Odyssey. But you can speak of returning to a place as soon as the second time you go there, and every time after that. Every time you change direction, go back the way you went that first time, you consolidate that sense of the new place as a place of origin.
Resort is a place you go out to (sortie) again and again. And so I keep resorting to the spring at the top of Mount Lemmon--back there, again there. I keep returning, transforming a resort into a source and base.
what it is, how to make it, and what to eat it with
In my last post, I talked about how the most nutrient-dense, high-antioxidant vegetables (i.e. the vegetables closest to their wild/weedy/herbal state) tend to be the lowest in carbohydrate, and most of their carbohydrate is fiber. I suggested this makes them ideal ketogenic diet foods for many people, partly because they are great fat-delivery vehicles.
"I mean that both from the culinary perspective, in that oily dressings or sauces combine beautifully with vegetables, and from the nutritional perspective, in that many of the micronutrients in vegetables are fat-soluble (notably vitamins A and K1 and the carotenoid antioxidants), while the vegetables themselves aid in the breakdown of fat (the acid in sour vegetables helps to emulsify the fat; bitter compounds in vegetables prepare the liver to break the fat down into its constituent parts)."
So--pesto! A perfectly ketogenic application of herby vegetables combined with the well-structured oils that form the basis of our body’s fuel.
This is part 2 of a discussion of ketogenic diets, antioxidants, and why herbal infusions and herbs in general are a wonderful thing to incorporate.
Going back to the two reasons we don’t need to be too concerned about missing out on antioxidants through minimizing carbohydrate intake:
1 Some of the lowest-carbohydrate vegetables are also some of the best sources of antioxidants. In other words, the best carb choices on this limited-carb program will also tend to maximize antioxidant consumption.
2 When a metabolism is running on free fatty acids/ketones instead of glucose, the process by which mitochondria convert these into ATP for cellular fuel appears to involve less oxidative stress, thus reducing our overall need for antioxidants (although today’s levels of toxin exposure means we’re still wise to get plenty, although “antioxidants” might not be the best way to think about it, see below).
blogging about blogging, and when not to follow advice
You may be reading this post shortly after it was written, following the sequence of my postings, or you may be reading it at any given time (probably, but not necessarily, subsequent to my writing it). Blog posts straddle a crossroads of the immediately relevant and the timeless treasure. Emphasizing the “timeless treasure” aspect, advice to blog writers often counsels against meta-discussion of situational or sequential issues--it draws too much overt attention to something that will likely be irrelevant two weeks from now.
It’s good advice, but since when have I followed advice 100% of the time? So yes, this is a post about what this blog is for and what to expect from it. The short version: I remain E-la-stic, but there is a rhythm to my blogging.
An Interlude (sort of)
My “monastic cell” abode is a little cement box. As a friend put it, “the Tucson broiler is now on.” 100+-degree days for over a month and to be continued through perhaps October, with occasional monsoon reprieves. I don’t turn my cooler on during the day, and it’s not a very effective cooler anyway. Even with blackout curtains on the windows, it’s often in the 90s in my home. Outside, suburbia stretches its grid, curvaceous and eccentric and still a grid. I walk. I miss the easy reach of the Rillito wash I had from my old place, a small strip of wildness and growth to walk to and poke around almost every day.
I lift up mine eyes unto the hills.
This sprawl of city is surrounded by mountains--the Catalinas, the Rincons, the Tucsons, the Santa Ritas. If you drive up to the 9000ft summit of Mount Lemmon, you pass through the range of bioregions you would traverse between Mexico and Canada--all that latitude compressed into contours. There’s even a spring at the top.
And finally, I head for the hills.
This post is not about ketogenic matters, except in a way it is.