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Survival School: Day 13
Jul 27, 2007, 11:14p - Life

Still @ the campsite - Not too much going on, pretty relaxing. Breakfast of amaranth w/ honey and sucanut (sugar) - very little (half of the blue cup), but better than nothing. Amaranth is like cream of wheat, & we had it warm. It's native to the Americas.

Next we had a few lessons. We learned how to nap (flake) obsidian to make cutting tools, & how to take a gourd & make it into a canteen. It was like arts & crafts @ summer camp. Was really tired during the obsidian lesson, almost fell asleep. Poked a hole in the gourd, cleared it out, shook it w/ rocks, & washed it out over several hours. For lunch got a juicy, damn good apple. Rained a bit in the afternoon, hung out under the tarp. Crit & David (who cut his thumb to the bone yesterday & had to get stitches @ a clinic) made a debris hut out of sticks, duff, & ponderosa bark as shingling. It took them 3 hours to make half. Was cool, but seemed like way too much work for now. Burrito works great! And it's so low maintenance.

Steve also taught us how to cook dry corn - big hunks of corn off husk. You have to use lye, wood ash, or CaOH to activate the niacin in the corn, to get the vitamin into your system. For dinner we ate a corn/lamb stew, w/ yams, potatoes, small pieces of lamb from the spine, cartilage, carrots, & hominy. The hominy is what the corn becomes after the niacin is activated. Don't forget to rinse out the CaOH, or it will burn up inside you. Stew was good - got to have 1.5 cups, & I was full on water, but not so much on the actual food. Starvation school, it's true.

Hung out w/ Jeff, Abe, Hannes, & Leland and talked about finances, ethics of eating meat, & conquering hunger. Conquering hunger - it's the most basic, carnal attachment, the most primitive dependency, but it's not about physical dependence (need), it's about psychological dependence (want). Even now, @ the campsite, I'm mentally motivated from 1 meal to the next - those are the highlights of each day, what I look forward to. I've started saying a silent prayer before each meal, to give thanks and to take a moment to appreciate it. I've also tried to slow down my eating speed, to really savor each flavor and make each bit last. It's very much about being in the moment, instead of living for the next bite ad infinitum. Conquering hunger - that is the goal. Neutralize my psychological dependence on food. But do I really want to? Is it possible to experience pleasure w/o being mentally captivated by it? I think it is - the goal is not anhedonia, but hyperhedonia, maximizing the feeling of the moment w/o any thought to past or future. Now that's a goal worth striving for.

Remade my burrito, went to sleep before sundown. Slept well - woke up once to pee, and maybe 4 other times. Had a dream I went to see Jessica & we talked about the best & worst of BOSS.

Oh yeah, almost forgot - crazy blood sugar levels today. Had to take a nap, felt so tired.

[Written on day 14]

Read comments (1) - Comment

Wesley Tanaka - Dec 18, 2009, 10:48p
Is it possible that there's a third choice: rather than avoiding or wantonly embracing pleasure, experiencing it in a detached state, where you experience it fully but are not consumed by it?

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