Case in point. My mother takes us out to a sushi restaurant. When my plate arrives, I am looking down at a sushi caterpillar, with beautiful little antenna, shiny little edible yellow eyes, and a perfectly sectioned body. Dinner or sculpture?
If you’re a food-lover, you’re used to seeing food prepared in a beautiful style. A good chef will invariably present you with a plate of food that has been squished, angled, folded and balanced so that your plate is covered with a little work of art.
Food Is Energy
Fine and well. But does this not seem a little strange? Food is energy, remember. At its most basic, we eat to keep our bodies functioning. At another level, we eat in order to indulge our sense of smell, taste, and touch. Good so far. With this understanding, we should be sitting down to plates of food that are not only healthy, but are wonderful mixes of flavors, scents and textures. But to beautify your food before you eat it?
Let’s imagine a cheetah who has just taken down a dik-dik. This is a little deerish sort of creature, for those of you not versed in African mammals. Now, you’d think it was a normal, healthy, cheetah if it just sat down and started eating. But what if it first began arranging the dik-dik’s fur? Then picked some flowers and tucked them behind the dik-dik’s bloodied ears? And then perhaps polished its hooves? All in preparation for feasting?
Chewing Beauty Up
You see, if we’re foodies, we think of beautiful food as normal. But maybe it’s actually a little sadistic. After all, it’s one thing to want to appreciate beauty by gazing on it or touching it. But it’s another thing to want to appreciate beauty by crushing it into a pulp between our teeth. If you have any doubt of what we do to our beautiful food, just spit some out right before you swallow. Then ask yourself what portion of human nature finds delight in chewing beauty up into a gooey mess.
This might explain why some folks like to make sandcastles and then kick them over. It might even explain why some conquerors might possibly enjoy razing historical buildings or works of art.I’d prefer not to think that we humans really get any enjoyment out of that sort of destruction, but I certainly did enjoy my caterpillar-shaped sushi.
If you’re reading too deeply into this, you can stop. There’s no special lesson here. Just a reminder that life is pretty odd and amazing and unexplainable if we stop to take a look. Pretty much everything we do, if we really pay attention, is pretty weird.
It’s a fun game to stop here and there in our day, observe what we’re up to, and consider the reasoning behind it.It gives us an interesting insight into human nature. Maybe none of us ever grew up after all, and we’re all still playing games whose rules and reasons we don’t understand.
Maybe we don’t even want to understand but are just content being players, having fun as we all play our parts in this marvelous and ridiculous game called ‘life’.