Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

…And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring
us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. ~Matthew 6:11-13, the Bible

bread of life ~d nelson

bread of life ~d nelson

Despite retirement, the public health nutritionist within me
smiles to the Lord’s Prayer’s humble, redemptive words of gratitude.
Everyone needs suitable & stable sources of sustenance
whether it be from wheat, rice, other grains or plant-based foods.
Really try imaging how hard it is to be grateful and love
thy neighbors on an empty stomach.

bread of life 2 ~d nelson

bread of life 2 ~d nelson

For 10,000 years wheat was cultivated, stored, stone-milled and consumed.
The breads of old nourished western civilization.
In the industrial era, new technologies changed things.
Mechanical mills turned wheat into barren white flour.
Chemical and genetic technologies made it pest, drought and blight resistant.
Wheat was modified to be easier to harvest, dramatically increasing yield per acre.
Genetics were also altered to increase gluten for better, fluffier baking properties.
In the past century science speeded bread mixing, kneading, rising and baking
times from 6 or more hours to about an hour.
Unfortunately our bodies have not adapted to the new products’
genetic changes as quickly as they’ve been introduced
and many of us have become intolerant to altered glutens
and breads; sadly, as breads nourished so many of our ancestors.
Breads made in slow-rising, homemade methods, such as sourdough
can be tolerated by some with gluten sensitivity.

sourdough starter ~d nelson

sourdough starter ~d nelson

“The point is that you can’t be too greedy.” ~Donald Trump

Everyone also needs bread, in the form of cash or other currency
to acquire needed shelter, provisions & medicine for themselves & their family.
May we actively cultivate our compassion to help others in these hard times.
If we still have bread to share, perhaps we can kindly offer a slice
to those in real need, regardless of race, gender, religion or ideology.
While national leaders are turning American Democracy into a Plutocracy
to further enrich fortunes of the most wealthy & military,
many of us will soon have no health care benefit, especially women,
many will be removed from affordable public & subsidized housing.
Immigrants & refugees without large sums of cash will be banned.
Retirees will soon find their pension funds looted
and potentially end up on the streets with increased masses
of homeless, refugees, mentally ill and dying.

bread of life 4~d nelson

bread of life 4~d nelson

There’s a rumor that Official State TV announced white is the acceptable preferred color
& male the acceptable preferred gender, just like the administration’s cabinet.
Christianity now seems the official religion of the USA, with Muslims unwelcome.
Dare I say these acts fail to exemplify acceptance, tolerance, or wisdom of non-discrimination.
Curious, I’ve asked church-attending friends to share lessons they live by
& was told of Jesus’ teachings to feed the poor and heal the sick.

bread of life 8~d nelson

bread of life 8~d nelson

Maybe an alternative fact, maybe not, but
it’s said the newly renamed White House Castle spokesperson
quipped, in a poor French accent, when asked
what will happen to the impoverished & elderly
who’ll become unable to acquire adequate bread of life
under these new austerity programs,
Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”—“Let them eat cake.”

bread of life 5 ~d nelson

bread of life 5 ~d nelson

During the last supper, Jesus Christ told his disciples: “This piece of bread is my flesh. Eat it.” That was a radical statement. He must have noticed that his twelve friends were not awake, and when he saw that he wanted to say something strong to wake them up, to help them live fully in the present moment. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Let Mavis Staple’s voice touch your heart with her performance of Stephen Foster’s 1854 song

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120 thoughts on “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

  1. Sonnische

    Oh my god, this post moved me, and it scared me of what may come. We muted morning TV and played the Mavis Staples treasure, and tears filled our eyes. I mentioned that I had thought it was a Dylan song, but my husband didn’t recall it, so I found his version and we listened to that. Then we looked up Stephen Foster and learned of his tragic end at the age of 37. Thank you for this powerful post, David.

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for your deep sharing, Sunny & taking the time to listen to the heartfelt ballad! Those pre-civil war days were likely very hard for many, and ultimately Foster. wishing you calm, supportive moments with loved ones and nature, david 🙂

      Reply
      1. smilecalm Post author

        that is an extreme illness, Hariod!
        seems across this country and beyond people are getting off their couches and out of their comfort zones regarding the muslim ban and other issues. may actions be with the peace & harmony we would hope to achieve 🙂

  2. Margarita

    As my grandmother was taking a giant loaf of bread out of her oven, I remember her muttering about how in the old country, all she and her family had to eat was bread and they were not fat, but in this new country, everything made them fat. She then proceeded to put a slab of bread in a soup bowl, ladle a little of the bean stock cooking on the stove, sprinkle a little salt and drizzle some oil. I enjoyed that simple dish more than any of her considerable repertoire of more elaborate and sophisticated offerings.

    We have so much today, David, my family does. While not affluent as measured by cash flow, we are wealthy by the measure of Love, Compassion, Kindness, Tolerance, Inclusion. We are most fortunate in the company we keep. We are endlessly grateful to be a family. 😉 xoxoM

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      smiling to your revealing family testimonial of the nourishing old ways
      and love found in them, Margarita!
      may your bowl to full, hot
      and tasty, today, david 🙂

      Reply
  3. Jean-Jacques @ Gypsy Café

    Hi David, I enjoyed the photographs and the interesting facts about wheat and bread! If I may, I would like to just say, that from an outside point of view, it would seem that people are getting themselves awfully riled up over a lot of speculation, assumptions and mis- or disinformation – without fact-checking even though we all know by now that absolutely everything in the media (in general) should be taken with a pinch of salt. Everything.

    I’ve been wondering why people allow themselves to be drawn into all the drama so much – and my conclusion is that probably because they really, really are addicted to it and truly love it…! That must be why they don’t fact-check and simply believe everything the media tells them. (All it takes is a bit of critical thinking – on the part of everyone, but perhaps emotions and feelings are more powerful – which of course begs the question of whether adults have still a got a proper handle on themselves – and if not, then what has happened to cause them to lose their handle? Is it the over-use of technology and living their lives through media – to the extend that they have lost their ability to think independently?

    So I was wondering whether a lot of things you mention in your post have not already been happening, like for example: plutocracy. Has it really only just arrived / or is about to arrive now? I’m asking, because from where I’m sitting it has been around for decades. Also, I’m not sure rumours are anything to go by, considering how often they are proven just that: rumours – and considering how much damage they cause to gender or race relations in the meantime before being disprove (that is, if anyone even makes the effort to… fact-check them).

    The think is that due to the nature of duality, the pendulum always tends to swing too far in one direction – and then inevitably swings back eventually – because each side (inevitably) over-play their hand and eventually takes things too far – and then end up undermining themselves. A case in point: the liberal left has for quite some time already been openly declaring white (heterosexual) males as “personas non grata” and basically as the cause of all problems and evil in the entire world… while everyone else – all minority groups, all other ethnicities and all other gender groups (apparently there are several nowadays) have conveniently exempted themselves from equal responsibility, introspection or treatment.

    And now look at what is happening – and everyone is surprised and no one can understand it… 😉 It all does make for a good show, I think I’ll get my popcorn out already. 🙂

    Having said that, perhaps everyone should calm down and show respect for each other and especially respect democracy (before thimgs spiral out of control) – the world is watching and it’s not looking very good…

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      Thank you for your kind & insightful, extensive comment, Jean Jacques!
      There’s plenty of truth to the observation of non-fact based reactions happening to things not yet transpired. Yes, this is not a complete about face in a country founded on the principle of white men greedily & freely taking from nature and other peoples. But in modern times, it is a departure of, lets say discretion and tact. Using bullying language filled with contempt, anger and fear-mongering, the president intentionally is creating divisions amidst the already vulnerable and suffering. Considering his failed business background, this strategy is likely intended to be good for his and other’s investments. Follow the money. Repeat, follow the money.
      His clearly stated motives to enrich the already rich, then demonstrating that intention by nominating billionaires without credibility, except contempt towards the missions and goals of national programs they’re to oversee, it’s seems natural that students, families and pretty much everybody else who will be effected is concerned, to say the least. Who wants to lose their healthcare? that’s what congress is signing off on without an adequate replacement or regard for the needs of citizens; or who wants their children to have inadequate schooling, and so on? Decades of past investments of fear and hate propaganda on the airwaves, along with intentional illiteracy and voter suppression have paid off for these investors big time. Likely not just the 99%, but all people, animals and nature will be negatively effected in terms of long-term sustainability & survival. I agree that the technology & electronic devices are part of the problem, distracting us from the beauty and difficulties which are right before us in every moment, but we’re too distracted to see. Getting hysterical with every tweet. And so we don’t take care of our own internal well being or issues well, or at all, as highlighted in your excellent post. Thanks for encouraging a few deep breaths to calm and take a look at whats going on and act accordingly. Yes, it will be interesting. And thanks to the universal law of impermanence, what will it all matter in a million years? 🙂

      Reply
      1. Jean-Jacques @ Gypsy Café

        David, thank you for your extended reply to mine. Naturally you would know (much better than me) exactly how citizens are affected domestically and of course, as in all national elections, people vote over domestic issues (much more than over foreign policy for example – although US elections affect the entire world, so that is why everyone outside the US pay close attention to it).

        “…a country founded on the principle of white men greedily & freely taking from nature and other peoples.”
        No doubt this is true, perhaps more true about white men than any other race (or gender), however…. here’s the rub: capitalism & globalisation (free trade and the rest) is an internationally installed global phenomenon and has been for a long time – and people in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America are all: “greedily & freely taking from nature and other peoples” (from indigenous peoples in all regions for example). That means that all races and genders are at it – directly or indirectly. As bad as it is – and I fully agree with the fact that we are over-exploiting the planet – making it a problem caused and driven by white men only, is besides being sexist, a huge exercise in negating complicity, responsibility and accountability. All people are very eager consumers in a global consumer culture – both (all) genders. How many non-male, non white people are prepared to forfeit their Smartphone or car, or consume less, to save the planet? (you will have riots in the streets if you attempt to take either away) I think statistics will show that men are in fact not the most eager consumers and that’s why advertising tend to target women more.

        Now, if for example non male, non heterosexual, non white people world-wide had a fundamental moral and ethical issue or problem with the state of affairs, they wouldn’t participate in global consumerism which demands more and more land and resources and demands more and more rich people to get richer, because they happen to have shares in the corporations that produce the goods the consumers demand. The whole system is driven from the bottom-up by consumers – not the other way around…(shock, horror!!) :-), although… having to acknowledge that is not very easy – and anyway – we already have our scapegoats: (white) men and millionaires – nothing to do with the small people, now way! 😉 .

        As for the bullying language of Mr Trump – it seems to me he’s just more brash, outspoken and direct – and yes, less tactful, but at least everyone knows what’s on his mind, he doesn’t hold back – although I get the feeling that because this is a very different style of communicating, which no-one is used to – what he says or said is often blown out of all context or sensationalised and exaggerated to the max by the media – for improved ratings – and why wouldnt they? People love drama!!! 🙂

      2. smilecalm Post author

        smiling to your ideas, dear one. the karma of trumps ascension seems multi-factorial, making some happy and some, not. and is already proving quite dramatic. wishing you continued enjoyment watching 🙂

  4. Genie

    My goodness, you took me back in time, David; when I was young, my parents took my brother and me to a Staples Singers concert, they brought the house down (so to speak), Mavis has such an Old Time Gospel voice.
    I’ll need to come back and take in the rest of your post! I was so moved by the song that I can’t take anything else in right now. What a song! May it come true for all sentient beings.

    Reply
    1. Genie

      Okay, I’ve taken some time to think about what you wrote and the topics that you covered in your excellent post.
      Here are my thoughts on the “Don” (Mafia boss) winning the election. It’s not that surprising, because whatever benefits Israel the most is what happens politically, and the Don, is the most fanatical about Israel. Not that I was into Killary, however, he is more into the genocidal and racist policies that the Zionist regime endorses and has as its policies.
      The Wall that the Don says is going to build, is designed by the Israelis and it’s designed exactly to be a twin like stuctutre of their Apartheid Wall that Murder Inc., has erected on Palestinian stolen land, it’s no surprise that the Don wants Mexico to pay for the Wall, then, since no one said very much when the Palestinians paid for the Aparhied Wall erected in Occupied Palestine, on land that was/is beyond the ‘1967 Green Line’.
      The Don is a cookie cutter cut out of the Zionist machine’s serial killer, racist policies, and thus, he was elected by Zion Murder Inc., due to their “by way of deception, thou shalt do war”, and even though it surprised most people, the Israelis knew alll along that he would get in, because that’s who is always elected: the person that Israel wants to be elected.

      Reply
      1. smilecalm Post author

        Gratitude for these revelations, Genie. While neither I, nor any of my friends, voted for him, there’s the impression that millions of others did. The why and how of that sad reality is mostly a mystery to me. I do believe it a conspiracy of greed, hatred and delusion, years in the making.

  5. Genie

    Trump, a National-Socialist as Messiah of Jewish Occupiers and Third-Position Populists!

    by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, Sicht vom Hochblauen, 25 January 2016, English translation by Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik.

    When I hear “America First”, a dread rises up in my soul, and I remember dark, past times. It sounds fatal and reminds me “Deutschland über alles”! Were it not the US corporate bosses and politicians who with the slogan “America First” opposed to a military intervention against Hitler and Nazi Germany? By blaming the US Jews for wanting to take USA into war? They saw an alleged danger coming from the Jews as bigger than the danger coming from Nazi Germany. Now Trump, who stands for politics in plain language, doesn’t see any problem in “America First”, and stands for this more than controversial term. This way he seamlessly integrates into the past, as it said in the book, even published in German in 2015 entitled “Great Again!” Also this title reminds me of “Mein Kampf” by Adolf Hitler. “How I will save Amerika”. However, it seems that the book published in 2000 and entitled “The America We Deserve” matches much better with Trump. Sarcastically speaking, do we deserve Trump or Netanyahu? How can it be that such a National-Socialist was elected? And precisely by a clientele who in the end despises Trump, who surrounds himself with a group of Jewish spin doctors and billionaires. While saying that he is struggling against the lobbies he builds upon the financial Wall Street lobby, the Israel lobby, the army lobby, the oil lobby, and other like-minded people. His awkward, more than inflammatory inaugural speech reminded of his dirty election campaign. Which small group does he mean when he talked about a small group profiting from the government in Washington, at the expense of the people he just wants to give back the power to? Does he mean himself, a more than controversial real estate speculator who until today refuses to disclose his tax return? (1)

    If he wants to make the people “the rulers of the nation again”, it is not in the interest of the people to be governed by a gang of billionaires. When Trump talks about a historical movement the world has never seen before, this fatally reminds me the sayings of the German movement who governed a “Thousand years’ reign” for 12 years until the bitter end. Hitler too was democratically elected! When Trump speaks about a massacre, ending thanks to him on 20 January, the Trump massacre to be expected is even more unforeseeable and more than frightening. He wants to support the “Jewish State”, build walls, block refugees, and give travel bans to Muslims. While he considers himself in a war against the media, the war against Islam has already started. His “Jewish-Christian-Zionist-Evangelical” worldview is as small as his vocabulary. Instead of presenting a presentable program, he prefers the war against the press, against Muslims and all “enemies” who do not share his ideology. Also Hitler attracted his people with highways and jobs. Buy American, and Hire American hire, as illuminating example for ALL! Also the “Jewish State” which sees itself as the “light of the nations” and on the path to “Great Israel” follows this maxim! If Trump wants to form alliances to wipe out the “radical Islamic” terrorism, then these are sentences which neither match with an inaugural speech nor with a democratic politician. These sentences are to be understood as a declaration of war against the Muslim world. This speech was a unique demagogic battle cry of a National Socialist under the motto “America is absolutely unstoppable”! (2)

    It is totally unmasking if you go to the website of the White House. There you can finally understand Trump’s true goals. There he clearly talks about a police state, all structured according to different political sections. Read here:
    America First Energy Plan
    America First Foreign Policy
    Bringing Back Jobs And Growth
    Making Our Military Strong Again
    Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community
    Trade Deals Working For All Americans

    It is worth to visit the new website of the White House to check the National Socialist New Trump World! A horror vision!
    If we look at Netanyahu it sounds logical: a nationalist Jewish society being at the moral deep point in its occupiers’ status needs a Führer like Netanyahu and his regime. But the US-Americans who live in a society which is unimaginable for us, and where more than 48 millions must live in mobile homes, or have no health insurance and no sufficient basic income, are of course susceptible for supposed saviours like the reckless billionaire Trump. But the US-Americans had to choose between Cinton and Trump, it means between plague and cholera. The situation which is arisen in the meantime is only a joy for the “Jewish State” which had been waiting for Trump in such a yearning way. However, also Clinton’s election would have not caused any disadvantage to the “Jewish State”. One day after Trump’s investiture, the building authorisation for 566 new apartments in the illegally annexed East-Jerusalem was announced. And it was said that this was just the beginning as there were already plans for other 11.000 Jewish settlers’ apartments waiting for authorisation.
    In the meantime, the planned annexion of the settlement block Maale Adumim in the illegally occupied Westbank, not far from Jerusalem, where approximately 40.000 Jewish settlers live, was put on ice until Netanyahu’s announced visit to his friend Trump in Washington. At the moment, approximately 430.000 illegal Jewish settlers live in the occupied West Bank, and more than 200.000 illegal Jewish settlers in the annexed East-Jerusalem. On Monday Trump and Netanyahu talked on the phone. Trump reassured his unlimited support to his friend Netanyahu, and invited him to the White House for February, after that Trump and Netanyahu agreed on their estimation about the dangers coming from Iran. They announced to struggle together against Iran and the nuclear deal agreed during the Obama administration. In addition, Netanyahu and Trump decided in a “warm-hearted” phone call to work for their common vision for “peace and stability”. They also demonstrated this will with the announcement of negotiations about the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, into the “undivided” capital of a “Jewish State”. A crossing of the red line, an affront against the UN, the international community, and in particular against Palestinians and Muslim states, which claim East Jerusalem with the Haram-al-Sharif as the capital of a Palestinian State. A violation against all diplomatic practices and international law. All this is in the sense of both Fuehrers, Netanyahu and Trump! (4)

    Netanyahu thanked Trump for his friendship and his challenge against “Islamic extremism”. Since the first fears come true, this struggle means a carte blanche in the struggle against Palestinian resistance fighters. It is the hour of the hardliners, who see an opportunity, like the Education Minister and leader of the settlers’ party Bennett who directly tweeted that for the first time since 50 years there was the choice between “sovereignty or Palestine”. Netanyahu already had made the proposal to annex Maale Adumim in the illegally occupied West Bank as the beginning of a new era!
    With Trump as the new US president in the White House, a Messiah for the illegal Jewish occupation politics of judaization and ethnic cleansing of Palestine, a freezing and unpredictable tweeting business man with a horrifying cabinet of the worst kind is at the top of the US administration. According to Forbes, his cabinet has a worth of $4,5 billion, the future Minister of Agriculture and veterans not yet included. Also Trump with its 3,7 billion and his wealthy advisers are not included. Part of the Cabinet are the designated Minister of Commerce and hedge fonds manager Wilbur Ross, with a property of approximately $2,5 billion, the Minister of Education Betsy De Vos, with a property of approximately $5 billion, Rex Tillerson, nominated State Secretary and for years the chief of the oil group Exxon Mobil, with a property of $325 billion and particularly spicy, Steven Mnuchin, the nominated Treasure Secretary and previous hedge fonds manager at Goldman Sachs with a property of approximately $300 million ! (5)
    The left fans and supporters of this president should think about if they really want to be among more than obscure Third Position populist supporters! Nobody should say they knew nothing about it!

    https://promosaik.blogspot.ca/2017/01/trump-national-socialist-as-messiah-of.html

    Reply
      1. smilecalm Post author

        Can’t argue that for the past hundred or more years leaders have been all about America first; that engaged ideology supported corporate owners of the politicians, as it does on steroids, now. Having lived in Asia and Europe I recognize the non-American perspective of imperialism. You’re right he’s honest, kind-of, his ethics, or lack of them is right up front. he’s honest about his affection of women and grabbing pu**y, hating Muslims and other non-whites, speaking alternative facts, promoting racist violence and thumbing his nose at the US Constitution with his wealth, all the while profiting exorbitantly from citizens taxes, himself not paying them. Many believe him mentally unstable, while he oversees a massive military and nuclear arsenal. If all he was about was promoting America first, that would not be so novel. Now, I’m curious about your admiration? for this person. Are you benefiting in some way by promoting him or his actions? 🙂

  6. Genie

    Rabbis believe Trump will fulfil Torah prophecies, says ex-minister

    Israel’s former Interior Minister Uzi Baram has said that the current government’s religious right-wing is relying on the role of US President Donald Trump to help destroy the Dome of the Rock Mosque. The religious right believes that the mosque’s presence is hindering the fulfilment of Jewish salvation represented by the construction of the Third Temple.

    In an article published by Haaretz, Baram said that the Jewish religious references and their political representatives in the Knesset and government believe that Trump will help in fulfilling Torah prophecies and fulfil the ideological religious visions of Gush Emunim, the far-right movement responsible for the settlement project in the occupied West Bank. Although it no longer exists formally, the movement’s ideology is still influential in Israel.

    “Rabbis believe that God sent Trump to help rebuild Israel in order for it to be in accordance with God’s instructions,” added Baram.

    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170125-rabbis-believe-trump-will-fulfil-torah-prophecies-says-ex-minister

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      I appreciate the detailed commentaries, Genie. Particulars of what is under the hood of this unwholesome, ugly vessel are not clear to me, but I appreciate the commentaries of those who have looked deeply at what lies at the core of this darkness. It’s beyond just one man. Seems natural that those who benefit from this president’s policies would claim him as a sign of their righteousness, whether it be wealth, power or fame.

      Reply
    2. Jean-Jacques @ Gypsy Café

      HI Genie, I’m a dedicated follower of your poetry blog – but in relation to this topic: what if the majority of people voted for Trump, democratically, on a spiritual level? It might sound odd saying that – but this video puts it into perspective:

      Reply
  7. robert87004

    I have been thinking we need to get past our disdain for communal living as a partial, affodable response. And doing all those necessary cost ing, life supporting measures like gardening.

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for the wonderful idea, robert! with guidance on living in harmony with each other, it makes sense with the shortages of affordable housing, limited incomes, and so on. Oh, and having communal gardens would make it sustainable, affordable and happily healthy & communal 🙂

      Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      smiling to your kind words of support, Carol!
      there are breads of life provided that can suit most of us, whether they be whole wheat, rye, sourdough or frybread.
      all grains, all ingredients, and all labor provided as gifts, imho.
      may all have their appetite satisfied,
      with not too little
      or too much 🙂

      Reply
  8. Healing Grief

    Beautiful post David. The breaking of bread is always a symbol of nourishment and sharing. Each day is opportunity for us to share the gifts we have been given. Each of us can make a difference no matter where we are in the world.

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for breaking some bread with me and others today, Karen!
      i’m having mine toasted with peanut butter, at the moment.
      gratitude for the encouragment and reminder
      for us to find what is inspiring in our hearts
      and go out and make that difference 🙂

      Reply
  9. JoAnna

    I had not fully realized that genetic modification had increased gluten – an example of how greed and speed tend to make things worse. The political situation here is sometimes too frightening for me to watch. But you bring us to the simple, constant truths which give me strength.

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank your for your kind words, JoAnna! i’m doing my best under these extraordinary conditions. anyone not concerned or frightened is probably not paying attention, imho. may we all have the skills and support needed to weather this storm. 🙂

      Reply
  10. Dennis the Vizsla

    hello smilecalm its dennis the vizsla dog hay i hav herd dada say toasted bred with peenut butter and jelly is a komfort fud becuz his nana yoozed to mayk it for him wen he wuz littel he seems to hav ben eeting it a lot laytly hmm i wunder just how wurreed he is abowt things theez days!!! i am lukky i do not hav to think abowt sutch things on akkownt of i am a dog!!! ok bye

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      i’m for safety, happiness and connection for all. not sure trump’s govt will help other’s realize well-being. but i wish you some nice bread. may all have the bread they need 🙂

      Reply
      1. smilecalm Post author

        of course, peace, my friend!
        and my heart aches for you
        and so many living at sea level.
        i lived below sea level
        the years in Amsterdam 🙂

  11. Sarah

    Powerful post, David. From the outside though, the U.S. has looked like a bad place to be poor for a long time. And from the outside it was looking like an increasingly hard place to be a Christian or an unborn child. From the outside, the Clinton war drums were much scarier then the Trump ones. I’m glad Clinton didn’t get in; she was a powerful advocate of the Culture of Death that permeates the Western world these days. The balance is swinging the other way now. All Americans now have an opportunity to guide it in a better direction. Speak reason, and Trump might listen.

    Reply
      1. Sarah

        And yours also, David. ❤ Sorry if I went too far. I've been holding that in ever since the Trump win, and I guess I felt like your blog was a safe place to vent, sorry. The American election shouldn't be any of my business but the U.S. is such an influential country that its policies have a big impact on life in the rest of the world.

      2. smilecalm Post author

        thank you for the offering clarity, Sarah.
        as the US president is a most powerful individual effecting, potentially, every living thing on the planet, it’s quite understandable to have a concerned opinion. may this moment help bring us all together for the better 🙂

  12. Vicki

    I’m one of those people who are gluten intolerant (not celiac) and dairy intolerant, although I do consume a little from time to time (which usually has an adverse reaction). Sourdough doesn’t affect me as much as yeast based products. My theory is that part of the problem is fertilizers and chemicals on the crops and additives/preservatives in the processing of foods. I rarely react when I buy fresh organic produce, although sometimes carrots can taste weird (organic or commercially grown). A shame organic produce is so expensive in Australia.

    As to religion, I was brought up Church of England and rebelled at 14 (to my Mother’s horror) simply for the reason that I don’t comprehend how a Christian can be ‘right’ and a non-Christian can be ‘wrong’. I lean towards Buddhism these days, as I see the positivity and loving thoughts behind each Buddhist act bring more genuine happiness and well-being to the community.

    Love the images.

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      Thank you the kind words & for sharing your gluten intolerance, Vicki. I’m glad a little sourdough works sometimes. You’re right about the crop chemicals playing a role in making wheat less healthy. It is sad that organics are so expensive; maybe that will change. Or we have to grow our own, if we can. I’ve always wondered about the hypocracy some christians exhibit. i’m told that the Bible had contradictory teachings throughout and that plays a role. Fortunately I’ve encountered a few who hold Jesus as a role model and do their best to live a sacred, humble life of caring. may your day be well 🙂

      Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      smiling to your kind understanding, Michele! i’m glad we recognize the need to do our best, as well as support each other in this upsetting time. this post seems to have gotten some people more excited than was intended 🙂

      Reply
  13. John Coleman

    Powerful post, David, which, if I may say so, speaks with an authentically Christian heart. My favorite point: “how hard it is to be grateful and love
    thy neighbors on an empty stomach.” That’s Christly mindfulness in a nutshell. Peace, John

    Reply
  14. Mél@nie

    impressive post, Sir… ah, le pain français… ❤
    * * *
    @“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”—“Let them eat cake.” – gluten and sugar FREE for me, please… 🙂 these famous words are supposed to have been pronounced by Marie-Antoinette, but according to most historians, it's a "boutade"… in fact "brioche" is not really a "cake", but kinda "pain brioché au sucre"… otherwise, just like Viki, I'm interested in Buddhism which is a philosophy of life, not a religion, and you may have read @ my playground that I've adopted the 10 commandments of the Native Americans for decades… 🙂

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      merci beaucoup, dear Melanie for this reflection; a kind piece of cake of sorts 🙂 i read that this phrase is attributed to nobles at least a hundred years earlier and may not have ever been uttered by Marie-Antoinette. i’m moved by your deeply spiritual roots & aspirations. may you be well, david 🙂

      Reply
  15. Sue Dreamwalker

    David what a brilliant post and I loved how you blended that dough of bread and mixed it together to show us the rise of what is wholesome.. Separating the wheat from the chaff..

    I read also the many comments.. And nodded my head in agreement to many.. I followed a few links too which Hariod provided.. But being here in the UK I can only offer up my thoughts from the blogsphere in supporting Unity with all our brothers and sisters across the world..

    But one thing I am seeing even here in the UK.. Which I have never seen before on such a scale.. In response to DT’s boarder controls into the US.

    Here in the UK today many have taken to peaceful demonstrations in support of their Muslim neighbours and those from foreign shores… Supporting their rights ..
    I hope that we are witnessing the ordinary people who have stayed silent for so long, taking to the streets to open up their voices to say NO to Division and NO to separation .. No to Racism, and prejudice ..
    As they support equality, and woman’s rights..

    It was wonderful to see so many woman stand in unity together along side many men who stand up for what is Right..

    I see the flip side .. For out of this chaos, I see Unity being born in those who hold compassion and fairness,
    I live in Hope that Justice will prevail in the hearts of those who choose to live in Harmony and Peace.. And we turn the energies around in a peaceful fashion..

    Love and Blessings.. For such a fantastic post David.. ❤

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      i’m honored by your deep reflection and guidance, Sue!
      we, in the US, are in a world of hurt. and clearly we
      are not alone in this hurt.
      all people’s and living things are at risk
      of greater suffering or worse.
      i believe other nations can provide
      important words and actions to condemn
      this leader and his supporters who live
      in a deluded mindset of greed, hatred and delusion.
      speaking truth to power and actively putting spirituality
      into action by refusing to allow this ideological beast
      to accumulate any further power, wealth or fame.
      wishing you gentle steps in that
      healing, restorative, peaceful garden 🙂

      Reply
      1. Sue Dreamwalker

        Yes I agree David. What our Leaders may agree to many here do not.. and are on the side of Freedom.. Which by the way the US keeps saying it is.. THE LAND OF THE FREE… I see no freedom in the way of rule or the way many of its citizens are being treated.. Including the First Nations, The Native American Indians.. Whose Land and treaties have been constantly broken.. But I hope that we can take deep breaths.. take a step back and SEE instead of fighting Fire with Fire.. We pour on the balm of healing Waters, through showing others how it is only a pocket full of Dark Souls which are causing so much destruction.. We can either escalate that fire by joining in with Anger, Fear and Retribution .. Or we Rise above and show we are United in LOVE and PEACE.. And many thanks dear David.. I hope to keep sowing seeds of love.. xxxx ❤ 🙂

      2. smilecalm Post author

        thanks for these reflections, Sue. the US was a good idea until greed got in the way. corporate boards, ceo’s and investors own most of the politicians now, imho. in the past, some politicians had hearts that compassionately cared for the environment and people, while collaborating with capitalists. Obama tried. we have some freedoms, yes, like speech, but it’s not safe to speak those truths you mention. those who immigrated here exterminated most Native Americans, succeeding in taking their lands, way of life and assimilating and converting to Christianity many of those who survived. The bright side of being placed on “reserves”, was that many were able to continue their cultural ways and language. I’m fortunate to have lived & worked with Native People’s on the Rez for many years. Sadly, colonization and imperialism is a legacy of the USA across much of the planet. Continuations of their explorer, conqueror ancestors. Of course there were, and still are, good American deeds, and still beautiful ideas coming from numerous realized and enlightened beings. But all too many dark souls have blossomed and multiplied, as you say. I’m grateful to receive your encouragement to unite and move towards a global awakening. waving my pom poms and meditation cushion in support of this noble aspiration of realizing that all is part of the one, we’re in this together, and there is a beautiful place of light and love, even though some don’t experience it.
        As long as we’re breathing
        there’s still time
        and hope.
        smiles to you 🙂

    1. smilecalm Post author

      smiling to your kind words about breaking bread together and cultivating compassion for others!
      your post was most impressive and beautifully illustrated. i had not seen such ornate books. and that food look most yummy. glad you had a meaningful new year celebration 🙂

      Reply
  16. Karen Wan

    Thank you for this post. I was raised as a Lutheran christian in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) synod which promotes tolerance, humility. To me, so many christians live the opposite of what Jesus preached. I am so proud of the ELCA for denouncing Trump’s Muslim ban. Since, I was young in the 70s, I was aware of and supported the Lutheran Refugee service to welcome those who need our help. I want to see many more refugees allowed in our country because it is the right thing to do.

    I was deeply heartened in recent years by what I thought was growing tolerance and compassion across the U.S. It is deeply disheartening to see America led by people who want to take us in an opposite direction. I believe this is the opposite of what Jesus would do if he were alive today.

    Like so many other people of all spiritual paths, or none at all, who care about compassion across America I will do what I can to promote the values of charity, compassion and generosity, and sharing my daily bread.

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for offering your background, Karen, as example that yourself & many walk in those peaceful, loving, caring, compassionate footsteps of Jesus. For a few years during grade school my mother went to a Lutheran Church, so I went along. I have fond memories of learning Sunday school lessons & being an acolyte. I recall them having helpful ministries. Wishing you great success offering what time and energy you have to help others, with support of loved ones, david. 🙂

      Reply
  17. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature

    Beautiful post, David. So much hard stuff going on. So hard to find good bread these days. So much of it is fake, altered.
    Your bread is real, and sustaining. Thank you.
    Peace, love and gluten free wheat,
    Mary

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      it’s just not fulfilling
      that pervasive wonder bread, right Mary?
      wishing you plenty of whole grain
      goodness, prepared with loving
      care, sans the gluten 🙂

      Reply
  18. inesephoto

    That song says it all. We should not panic and trust the Lord. No President can make as a better people or worse people than we already are. I wish we stop whining and become a better family member, a better neighbor, a better citizen and a better human being. Violence and hate have to stop, and we have to rid of that victim mentality that holds us back in our progress. We are beautiful children of God. All of us. If we act like ones, then, may be, something will start to change.

    Reply
  19. sasokisoaps

    Ah smilecalm, funny coincidences – you being a retired public health nutritionist – I am a not-yet-retired dietitian! And I too have the trusty sourdough pot for my daily bread : )

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for your kind words, sasokisoaps! such a busy dietitian hand making cleanliness for the world! just pulled a loaf out of the trusty bread machine. may your day be well and toast be warm, david 🙂

      Reply
  20. Jet Eliot

    I am a former nutritionist too, David, and enjoyed your descriptions of bread. Also really enjoyed the rich voice of Mavic Staple and her message…”hard times come again no more.” Beautiful post, my friend~~

    Reply

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