A popular way of writing "wonton" in Cantonese is above in the title-line, meaning "swallowing clouds". Another way of writing it can refer to its irregular shape.
What is it like to swallow the clouds? Sometimes I feel that that is my life, also irregularly shaped. And I was thinking this morning about shapes, and about food, as I read that honey-comb shaped plaster walls were used in 19th century France to optimise the growth of peaches. I wondered about structures that may be large but impermanent, experimental structures to see how much of the earth, in this case human resources, can be sapped at a given time. All kinds of attempts are made, it is for us to discern what is responsible and realistic.
An example, to my mind, of unrealistic measures is protesting that cows destined for dinner should not be those one enjoys watching on the landscape, how perverse. If one wants livestock to come from an invisible source, one is clearly wishing to escape reality: Root calls this the sign of a "cannibal culture".
To have one's head in the clouds is one thing, but this spiritual potential is supposed to be used in emergency situations only: we are not meant to levitate our whole lives. A dear soul, the kind my family used to call a "lotus flower", which to us meant a fragile person though the joke was on us as we were each other's "lotus flowers", wrote to me yesterday to say that a bird "(sick, dying, blind?)" unfortunately ended up on her window, and to her mind, this was the sign of love on this planet. She also wrote that trust and love are not the same thing.
This is also an example of floating above the world. The "trust" factor is where we are planted in the ground, for better or worse. How can we love without it? For example, I would have to be a masochist to love something that I did not admire, at least in the smallest way. So, when someone is gruff, and I still love them, this is because I trust that deep down inside, they have a kernel of goodness. It might not be fun when they are insensitive - but who here is perfect?
So to return to food - I would go so far as to say that our strange understanding of trust and sacrifice is interrupting our relationship to food. Some people want to detach themselves from the very uncomfortable process of sacrifice. We do not sacrifice animals in the temple anymore, but isn't it strange that we are now uncomfortable at the animal butchery of sustenance? Not just out of sight, but out of mind.
My friend, in her horror, was unable herself to clean her windowpane. But this is life, and just because we are afraid of our ends does not mean that we can make that end go away. Also, if we don't take the risk of sacrifice, I will go so far as to there is no life, in its full sense. We are left with being pawned horsemeat instead of beef because we gave up our agency when we wanted it to be invisible. The presence of sacrifice is uncomfortable, but brings back our agency. This is my post about irregular-shaped cloud swallowing.