Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Loving What I Love

In a reality TV show I was watching the other night, a couple were performing an acrobatic act that made my head spin from just watching them. After their performance, the man said he and his wife had had a lot of fun. Fun? You call that fun? You need your head examined, mate!

I've often wondered why I like some things and not others. If Love is all in all, why don't I like everything the same way? Why do I resonate with some people more deeply and not with others?

When I was a child growing up in Sierra Leone, I was raised on traditional dishes. I would say most of them are acquired taste. There were some dishes I loved, some that I grew to love over time, and a couple of dishes I didn't like at all. One of them was called Cassava Leaf, which is the leaves from a Cassava cooked with beef and eaten with rice. I must have taken one look and decided it wasn't for me. Unfortunately, I didn't have much choice about the matter; I had to eat what was in front of me or go without. My aunt used to do most of the cooking. At least once a week, or once every two weeks, I would be dreading having to eat Cassava Leaf. I used to just bolt it down with copious amounts of water and pray that it stayed down. I always vowed to myself that when I grew up I would only eat what I love.

When I came to England in my late teens, I never ate Cassava Leaf again. When mum cooked it I wouldn't have any. When I left home, traditional African dishes were the last thing on my mind. Besides, I didn't know how to cook them anyway. I stuck to what I do best: beans on toast, pasta and stews.

The interesting thing is that I wasn't raised on curry. It was only when I started going to Indian restaurants in London that I tried curry, which I grew to love. I was never raised on Chinese food yet I grew to love Chinese food. I wasn't raised on chips, British chips, but I love chips. So how come I couldn't like Cassava Leaf?

Recently my mother was thinking about cooking some Cassava Leaf sauce. I told her I wouldn't be having any. She said I'm always harping on about "that was then, this is now." I could at least try it and see if I still feel the same way, after all I'm not the same person I used to be then. I said to her that if I tried some of her sauce she was going to have to try some tissue paper, which I love eating. She said she wasn't that desperate for me to try her sauce.

So when mum cooked the dish I tried some. I was very careful to have only a few grains of rice and some sauce. I wasn't disgusted by it as I used to be as a child, but it still didn't do anything for me so I thanked mum and said I would be having beans on toast for my dinner. At least I did give it a go.

Now there are millions of Sierra Leoneans who love Cassava Leaf and good luck to them. At least it shows it is a dish worthy of people's love but not mine.

While I realise all is Love, I don't apologise for loving who and what I love.

I love you and you know who you are.


Related articles: Preference; Making Everything Up; Being the Source; Do What You Love and Love What You Do; Oneness is Not Sameness