Food and Mythology

Far South Shrimp Salad

20 medium shrimp, uncooked
1 lime, small is fine
mixed greens
1 avocado
1 mango
1 shallot
paprika
olive oil
salt and pepper

Run cold water on the shrimp until they’re thawed. Carefully remove the shells, legs and tails (unless you prefer tails, as some do.) Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet and cook the shrimp until they’re an orange/pink on both sides.

Meanwhile, cut the mango into bite sized cubes and dice the shallot into tiny pieces. Cube the avocado as well. Microwave the lime for about 10 seconds to soften it and cut it in half. Drop the shrimp, avocado, shallot and mango into a bowl with the mixed greens and squeeze the lime onto it. Then toss the salad, making an effort not to crush the avocado if at all possible. Afterwards, try it and add salt, pepper and paprika to your taste.

I suppose there’s nothing quite like a beach trip to make one wish to cut a few pounds. I’ve reached the point where I’m just no longer going to bother with the vanity of trying to earn and maintain a six pack or push my biceps to be 18 or 19 inches in diameter. But I also have no plans to ignore the importance of trying to be healthy.

A recent doctor check up told me everything I already knew: Less beer, less refined sugar, more exercise. The obnoxious thing about weight loss, as I constantly yo-yo weight, is that it requires total lifestyle changes. Lunch has to be a salad most of the time or soup. I have to swap out the doughnut or breakfast sandwich for a bowl of grainy cereal or fruit. Red meats get exchanged for lower calorie seafood. Rather than sit down for an hour of Titanfall or Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, it’s either some dancing game or throwing the television on while I lift weights.

Usually, the first two weeks are the hardest. You miss those foods, you miss being able to be lazy. There’s a constant hunger in the back of your mind that interferes with any concentration intensive tasks, whether it’s reading, writing or especially studying.

Vidar_by_Collingwood

Víðarr (Vidar) slaying Fenrir, after the wolf slew his father, Odin.

Speaking of study, my return to non-fictional reading has been interesting at the least. I had finished a translation of The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturlusson. And to further examine the correlation between the Norse mythology and the actual pagan practices in Gods and Myths of Northern Europe by H.R. Ellis Davidson whose work in understanding the Æsir is incredibly extensive (check out that bibliography…)

The reading caused great thoughts of pensiveness, and reflection of the underlying philosophies. A fair bit of Norse mythology has been lost to the kulturkampf of Christian revisionism. Even the word, myth, carries with it a sense of untruth in its modern context. The Christians of that age worked hard to brand the Æsir as an untruth, a once sacred religion reduced to mythology.

Of course today, Christianity struggles to remain a religion and not a mythology in the eyes of a skeptical, science-and-fact oriented society. The irony isn’t lost on me that Christianity finds itself the victim of the very cycle its earlier followers fought in mind and body to start.

Davidson’s best points seem to reflect a lot of my own thinking as with regard to the elder religions. That the gods and goddesses of the Æsir and Vanir were merely metaphysical expressions of our own desires. Like their Greek counterparts, the denizens of Asgard were welcoming of humanity in all his glory and failings alike. They had their war gods, their gods of sex and fertility. Their nature gods, fortune granters and tricksters… and ultimately celebrating humanity rather than chiding us or attempting to guide us by some vision of a utopia.

Hm. Will finish Davidson’s book this week. Perhaps 75 more pages left.

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