Friday, March 30, 2012

Buying Bacon

Is eating “trafe” or not eating it an appropriate guideline for community membership?

I bought a pound of bacon the other day. I am not sure I ever did that before.
To belong or not to belong?

If I did, my conscious mind does not remember it. That’s how brainwashed, in other words, prejudiced, I have been on the issue of bacon.   

By inheritance, I am “not allowed to eat bacon,” even by accident. Because bacon is “trafe,” meaning unclean for me. Born a Jew and raised in an observant home, even in this late day of assimilation., I might lose my tribal membership, perhaps, by eating bacon.

Today, however, as my bacon bakes in the oven, I am pondering the fact that is was just yesterday that I, consciously and purposefully, bought my first (??) pound of bacon. Blatantly, without shame, I brought this trafe into my house and am cooking it, now, as I write, intent on eating it before long..

Last night, having already cooked and eaten some of this trafe, I wondered at my present state, regarding this bacon. How have I managed all these years, eons after my emancipation from my mother’s orthodoxy to avoid buying, cooking and eating bacon? To my mind the logic of it all has long ago passed out of the realm of reason. However, I did not even closely consider this fact until after my bacon-centered dinner last night. In other words, I went on automatic, not thinking about my beliefs or acions or lack thereof on this subject.  How totally unconscious, I can be at times!

By bedtime, my mind quiteted almost to dozing, my thoughts shifted to observations I had gathered from last week’s Abkhazian Dinner event. In particular I was reflecting on our main event, our “Bus Ride” story and what I had noted, as well as heard reported, from that experience.

The main objective behind our offering what is, actually, Murat’s “Bus Ride” story, told beautifully I might add, by my Small “Zones of Peace” collaborator, Sue deVeer, was to present a vehicle for instruction on how a group of people, any group of people to be precise, under certain conditions, can, in a relatively short time, develop into a community. That is, of course, providing they desire such an outcome from their time together.

But what if eating bacon, or not eating bacon is a condition for someone to genuinely be a card carrying member of a particular group or community on a bus ride? Or a train? Or an airplane? Or a boat? Or maybe even a space ship?

Is that not somewhat like judging someone “in” or “out,” based on what they wear?

Am I now, having eaten my bacon, still properly credentialed to remain a member of my tribal community? Or not?

And, one other thing: why isn’t just being a person enough to qualify all other someone’s as a part of one’s true inheritance?

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