Friday, August 31, 2012
Stirring the Cauldron
Cauldron-stirring is different from shit-disturbing. The latter aerates stinky stuff and releases noxious odors. No one wants that. The former, however, is a necessary part of the brewing process. Ask any cook or brewer how things turn out if neglected and just left to simmer (or even boil) unstirred. I am neither cook nor brewer, but I don't need to be to see that this is true.
Without stirring, stuff gets stuck on the bottom of the pot, where it accumulates, blackens, and becomes solid and resistant to being cleaned up. Not stirring the cauldron leaves this icky stuff that needs to be chipped out with a hard, sharp tool in order to have a clean cauldron from other brews.
At the second Dandelion Gathering1 in Western Massachusetts, a crew prepared a brew for bio-remediation of something on the property, if I recall correctly. Or perhaps it was to be taken elsewhere to be used. In any case, the brew needed regular stirring. I loved stepping up to it and taking some turns at swirling it into something rich and different from its individual components. I found it a wonderful addition to some of the ritual done there. It was there in the big meeting room for most of the gathering.
That's what I see happening now. I am a chief stirrer. Some others are noticing the changes in aroma coming from the cauldron. Others are stepping up to take a turn at stirring. Others are angry that anything is being disturbed. It's been my hope that this stirring might loosen the gunk on the bottom of the cauldron. Because, after all, if the brew isn't "healthy" and transforming the contents of the cauldron into something nourishing, then what's the point of making it?
1. Biennial all-Reclaiming gathering, instituted in Texas in 2004. Although I am no longer affiliated with Reclaiming as any kind of entity (a slippery one to pin down), I have been for more than 30 years and I did attend all Dandelion Gatherings. I will not be attending any more of them.