cooking up some theology
I love to cook. I love trying new recipes, I love inventing new recipes, I love looking at a bunch of ingredients and coming up with ideas of how they could be used together. I especially love cooking for other people, spreading out a bunch of food on a table and watching people I care about smile and listen to them make yummy noises. Tonight I cooked-up a pan of roasted vegetables and leftover ham for myself, seasoned with some of my favourite herbs and spices, like rosemary and garlic (I can smell the rosemary and garlic on my fingers as I type this). Yes, that's a picture of my dinner sitting next to my computer.
I think if I were to analyze what I love so much about cooking, I would have to say that there are multiple reasons. A major one is the sensuousness of the whole process. I am a big smell-taste-touch person, if I had to pick a favourite sense, it would be touch, taste and smell would be tied for second place. Another reason is the creativity involved, and as with any art, the more I learn, the bolder and more interesting my cooking becomes. Like today, I put allspice in my spice mixture, which was a bold move, but one that produced beautiful results, and stemmed from what I've learned from Indian and Mexican recipes. The third main reason (there are so many, I won't talk about them all here) is the relational aspect - cooking is more fun when I'm cooking for people that I love and care about, because food is something we all need anyway, so I'm happy to help provide them with sustenance. And cooking is even more fun when I do it with people I love - I love the teamwork that goes on in a kitchen, with everyone pitching in, adding their wisdom, and having great conversation too.
Doing theology, for me, is a lot like cooking. My theology a sensory matter in that it is most often rooted in my own bodily, lived experiences. My theology gets better and bolder the more that I learn, and exotic sources are extremely fruitful places for learning. And my theology is best when I have a community with which I can play and learn and work.