Posted by: drjamm | October 5, 2008

The Everything Bagel

Restaurant scene from: When Harry met Sally — ‘Harry’ – played by Billy Crystal; ‘Sally’ – played by Meg Ryan

Waitress: Hi, what can I get ya? Harry: I’ll have a number three. Sally: I’d like the chef salad please with the oil and vinegar on the side and the apple pie a la mode. Waitress: Chef and apple a la mode. Sally: But I’d like the pie heated and I don’t want the ice cream on top I want it on the side and I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it if not then no ice cream just whipped cream but only if it’s real if it’s out of a can then nothing. Waitress: Not even the pie? Sally: No, just the pie, but then not heated. Waitress: Uh huh…

The everything bagel filled with miso, avocado sprinkled with lemon, and topped with tomato... yummm!

When I first watched the above famous scene from “When Harry Met Sally,” I burned up with embarrassment because there, on the big screen, was me – or rather my what-I-used-to-think-of-as “picky” behaviour when I order from a restaurant menu. As a Vegan vegetarian, I find it is a rare chef, indeed, who actually dishes up a well-balanced and tasty Vegan meal. More often than not, therefore, getting a half-decent meal in a restaurant usually requires many alterations to an existing menu item. To any future friends who may invite me to “do lunch” –BE WARNED –I may behave just like ‘Sally’ in the above scene. Ever since seeing this movie many years ago, I feared that my food preferences looked “inflexible,” and “annoyingly, particular.” I used to relive this “food ordering” embarrassment every time we would eat out.

But why have I brought this food issue into my Spiritual blog? Today I saw a new way to frame my values, not only around food, but also, Spirituality. Today, while I was slicing my “Everything Bagel” — a bagel topped with “the works” — spreading it with miso, layering it with avocado that was then sprinkled with fresh squeezed lemon juice, and finally topping it with the freshest tomato slices, I saw a perfect-for-me blend of gustatory adventure and wholesomeness. In fact, this bagel sandwich is so perfectly balanced for taste and nutrition that it practically levitates off the plate, sings “Halleluja,” does a complete 360 degree Dervish Dance, and then settles back down on the plate and basks in the full knowledge of the Goodness it is about to impart to the palette and body. Or, rather, I should say, the Goodness it is about to bring to MY palette and body –because I suspect that non-Vegans may experience this Everything Bagel Sandwich a different way.

I, now, realize that my tastes in food have always been diverse, adventurous, healthy, and geared to be ‘gourmet gorgeous’ — providing the food being offered is Vegan. My Spiritual tastes are, also, diverse, adventurous, and “gourmet gorgeous,” i.e., gravitate to Sensually Delightful — providing the ‘spiritual food’ options offered on the Religious Menu include spiritual practices that are Life-Affirming, encourage stepping away from Fear, and promote that magnificent and beautiful leap into Love. As a result of my bagel sandwich epiphany today, where I previously saw my Self as “picky,” I now see Open-Mindedness; where I once saw my Self as “high maintenance,” I now see Dedication to Health. And where I once saw the narrowness of my choices (such as, those of Sally portrayed in the movie scene above) in the “traditional cuisines,” I now see Expansiveness and Daring in my choices both in the “world cuisines” of vegetarian foods and in world-wide Spiritual practices and Religions.

Who knew I could learn so much from a bagel? — Oivey!

Credits and links: When Harry Met Sally transcript by Wing Poon at A Rob Reiner film

(bright heart singing, copyright 2008 – jamm. Creative commons attribution, non-commercial sharing only (translation: feel free to quote me in context or use this entry but please always credit me for my work, thanks.)


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