Friday, July 31, 2009

The Tempest Salad

It started with an email entitled "your blog?" . I opened it and read the string of words that followed.
"Emily, I came across the following links below. Did you get ripped off?"
Attached was a link to an article that was published in the Huffington post entitled "90 salads in 90 days: how a committed carnivore brainwashed herself into liking leafy greens" and another link to a blog that the author publishes about ethics. Huh.
Thoughts and emotions flapped back and forth like wind flapping a sail. It went something like this:
I felt a puff of anger, followed by the thought 'it is just a coincidence'.
I had an overwhelming sense of loss, followed by 'she just had a similar idea, but the execution is different'.
I was back to anger, then 'if she did see my website and use the idea, why not be flattered?'
Another wave of anger, then 'the whole idea of proprietary information is stupid anyway. We are all influenced by each other, nothing is original'
I read her article again. I even got some salad groupies and a few copycats inspired by my "movement." a puff of rage filled my sail driving my fingers into a type happy rhythm. I have written and deleted many words since reading that article. I have chased down evidence, built cases and then knocked them down. My salad war spread through friends and family. Third party resentments are exploding like grenades, leaving the scattered debris of letters to the editor of the Huffington post.
After the rage storm, I began thinking about my original intent in beginning 90 salads. A quote came to mind:

"Submit to a daily practice. Your loyalty to that is a ring on the door. Keep knocking, and the joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who's there." -Rumi

Effort. Consistency. Dedication. Loyalty to that dedication. Persistence. Joy. An open heart. Self Discovery. Unity.
The original quote was not written in English, so these words are really not Rumi's words. They are the interpretation of a translator, who has touched the hearts and minds of many people and without credit. He himself probably doesn't realize that he is the original source of these words.

The salad:
Rinse and strain 1 bunch of arugula. Add 1/2 pkg halved cherry tomatoes 3 mini cucumbers and 1 diced avocado. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the top and 2-3 tbsp olive oil. Add a little diced red onion if you like. Garnish with fresh cracked pepper.

Christina's vote: "Calmed my otherwise raging soul"


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Not to knock down your efforts and enthusiasm, and I understand your feelings to an extent, but have you heard the quote, "there is no original thought"?

    Seems misguided of you (and your loyal friends and family) to become so enraged.

    Especially petty is the comment from "Autism Cottage"

  3. Ridiculous! I have read your blog and her article. The two are not similar in any way shape or form with the excepion of the title. And, anyone who has gone through any twelves-step program or learned about those programs in medical school etc. knows about the idea of 90 in 90--your content in this regard certainly wasn't original. She also doesn't do or say anything about the actual recipes etc. You do! You offer something very real in that way, and that is to be applauded. But I can't see any argument that she took your idea from you, any more than 'The minimalist" from NYTimes took his 101 salad recipe article idea from you. Also, she talks about this being a journey to better her health. Was that your original intent, too? Holding on to anger this way, and trying to insight this kind of anger in others will only hurt you in the end, especially when you know it must be another emotion at its root and not anger.

  4. Emotions are rarely logical. They come and go like the weather. Rather than ignore them and hope they go away I think it is important to acknowledge them.
    I agree with "Just Saying"..there is no original thought. Certainly the idea to do 90 in 90 of something is not original. The purpose of this particular blog, for me, is self discovery. Every day when I make the salad, I check in with myself. I listen to what comes up for me that day, and I write about it. Sometimes I am prideful, sometimes I am selfish, sometimes I get angry, sometimes I am jealous, sometimes I am dizzy with love, sometimes I feel empty inside. I write about it and it moves through me.
    Anonymous- I appreciate your concern for my holding on to anger, and I assure you my intent in writing this post was not to "insight this kind of anger in others" I suppose my point did not come through in the end, and I apologize for not being more clear. After meditating on the Rumi quote, I realized that recognition is about ego. In the end we all have the same message and we transmit it in our own words. We need many translations.

  5. anonymous--unfortunately you're totally missing the point of this story--Emily's story is clearly an exercise of letting go of anger. Also-lets not kid ourselves-if we were operating in a world of 'there is no original thought' we would not have copyright and intellectual property laws. We are not a blurr of sameness on earth. As the earth evolves and changes-there are original thoughts relative to the new environments. Why do we encourage invention and in the same breath claim no original thought?-absurd!!

  6. The notion of "no original thought" is not so literal Christina. Have you not heard this before? The idea is that, because we are human we all experience the same things and it is from those same things that we create art--be it literature, painting, sculpture. You will never, for instance, read a novel with a theme that has not been written by someone else before you, and to be sure it will be written again after you. Your hero may be different, the context in which the story unfolds may be different, but the story itself has been told. None of us is unique, not in our thoughts and not in our emotions. That is not a bad thing.In fact, it is something that helps many many people to feel better and to recover and heal. Your comment also makes clear one the most obvious differences between these two: Hillary's article (note: not a blog) is not an exercise in letting go of anger. Hillary's article, if it's an exercise at all, is one in change. I didn't totally miss the point--I don't usually miss the point of anything (but my IQ is not the point either). My point was only that no one stepped on anyone's toes here. That first comment called Hillary "thieving" and it was very obvious to me that there was no truth to that. I very much like this blog, and I think it's doing a wonderful service to many people. I only thought that most recent post was a little much--anger can be so dangerous--and the first comment to follow was completely ridiculous. These two women, in totally different ways, are bettering themselves and some other people in the process, so I didn't see why there was animosity.

  7. PS You are obviously clearer on this, Emily, than I gave you credit for in my first post. Thank you for your comment.

    Christina, ponder this quotation: Original thoughts can be understood only in virtue of the unoriginal elements which they contain.

  8. Yes. My previous remark, since deleted, was petty. What a great lesson this has been, I hope for more than a few people, in the power of emotions attached to words. I suspect that nearly all of the reaction/controversy attached to these blogs has more to do with how much we care for and love the people we feel/felt were being attacked by others than the actual content of what was written by anyone. I love you Emily!

  9. Quite right, Autism Cottage. BTW you may want to check out, they work to help children with autism.