For the last few years I have thought in a back-of-my-head, not quite serious way about becoming a vegetarian. I love food, and to me, food means variety, and the idea of eating brown rice and tofu or vegetables or a salad every day is dreary and boring, so I never quite have done this, becoming a vegetarian, though I buy cookbooks hopefully, and go eat at the latest vegan joint, with my teacher Denise prompting me every once in a while that true yogis don't eat meat, don't do violence to other creatures (what about to vegetables, I wondered? Don't we have to pull them screaming up by the roots? Don't we have to weed and hoe, murdering countless microbes and plants we think of as weeds, and insects we know as pests?) I am not fated to be a Jainist, allowing insects to swarm over my body, to suck my blood, unhindered. Uh Uh. I don't think so.
But this week, without really planning it out, I have eaten for most of my meals vegan or at least vegetarian foods only. For example, there was vegan sausage for breakfast with eggwhite omelet. And yesterday for dinner there was butternut squash ravioli (with no cheese of course; I hate the stuff!) and bruscetta. And there was that Thai stirfry earlier in the week, composed of Asian vegetables and a packaged sauce. And my hysteria of last weekend, which had reached a pitch as I obsessively graded essays that I thought I would not survive, dissolved entirely. Of course, I had finished the essays, and there were to be a few days reprieve before the next batch. And next week I will get three sets of papers, and the whole thing will start over again. But for the moment, bathed in the cross breeze that blew up between two screen doors and the ceiling fan's steady rowing of the air, I felt genuinely happy, and utterly calm.