Weirdmaste – the weirdness in me honours the weirdness in you

Full definition of weird

  1. of, relating to, or caused by witchcraft or the supernatural: magical
  2. of strange or extraordinary character : odd, fantastic

From the Merriam-Webster online dictionary

A few weeks ago I was served a scalding hot cup of contempt liberally laced with scorn. My crime? I had “gone all weird” and that was weirdmaste“uncool and unacceptable”. Hmmm….

Why all the hostility? What’s so wrong with being weird? Not a thing. And weirdness is plenty of things that are oh-so-very right.

Weirdness – being strange or extraordinary – as the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition defines it, is the very thing that has pushed individuals and society forward.

Weirdness challenges the status quo. That of course is scary for people like my contempt-pouring barista. But challenging the status quo also means pushing boundaries, taking risks and asking difficult questions. Those activities are the wellspring of innovation and I for one am very grateful for all the mod cons that innovation has brought me.

Weirdness is a bold leader. So many of the most fundamental ideas and values we espouse today were introduced to society by so-called weirdos. A round earth that circles the sun? Crazy talk! Women’s suffrage? Those were some pretty strange ladies chaining themselves to the railings. Smallpox vaccine? Riiiiight. What kind of kook could convince people to be injected with dead viruses? We need our weirdness to fling the door of progress open and shout “Hey, follow me!”

Weirdness gives us the audacity to be authentic. Sure, sometimes authentic people are a little frightening. Their honesty and integrity can cast too bright a light and therefore too long a shadow on individuals or groups who prefer a less candid existence. But authentic people are also honest, respectful of themselves and others, and nonjudgmental. Works for me.

Weirdness is your touch of divine madness. Audacious, authentic and daring, weird people are willing to explore their passions and creativity and give them a voice. Name me an artist or thought leader from any society or era who wasn’t considered weird for his or her time. I don’t think you can. Weirdness pushes us past conventional thinking to embrace new ideas and new modes of being. Whether you love their ideas or works or not, isn’t the world richer, more diverse and simply more intelligent for having had the likes of the Buddha, Hildegard von Bingen, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Elizabeth I, Newton, Wordsworth, Kandinsky and John Lennon and all their weirdness?

Am I weird? You bet! It’s one of the most beautiful things about me. Your weirdness is one of the most beautiful things about you too. It’s your authenticity. It’s your originality. It’s your unbounded joy. So you be weird. Wave your freak flag and shine your weird light so I can find you in the dark.

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Viking Mounds – the beeting heart of deliciousness

vikingmound3I call these open-faced sandwiches Viking Mounds because they remind me of those mysterious burial mounds found all over Britain, which once sliced into reveal hordes of buried treasure. The ingredients also make me think of what I imagine compassionate Scandinavians eat – sauerkraut, pickles, cucumbers, beets, crisp and mustardy tofu and grainy bread.

This recipe makes 3 mounds hearty enough for any Viking!

Ingredients

The tofu and sauce

12 oz package tofu – dried and cut into slices of even thickness

2 Tbsp agave

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard (I use seedy mustard)

2 Tbsp olive oil

The sauce

2 dill pickles minced

1 Tbsp brine from the dill pickles

2-3 green onions sliced (or ¼ of an onion diced)

1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (or ½ tsp dried dill)

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

3 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise

¼ tsp ground pepper

The rest of the sandwich

3 medium beets, boiled and skins removed, sliced into coins.

¾ cup sauerkraut (try to find unpasteurized sauerkraut; it’s higher in probiotics and better for your gut health

About 8” of cucumber sliced into coins (I use an English cucumber so it doesn’t need to be peeled)

3 slices of whole grain or bread or pitas or similar sturdy bread

vikingmound2

Directions

Heat the olive oil, agave and Dijon mustard in a large frying pan, and stir together to blend. Fry the tofu in this mixture on medium heat until just golden and then flip. Turn the heat off and allow the tofu to remain warm.

Make the sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl or cup.

Assemble the sandwiches.

Place ¼ cup sauerkraut on top of a slice of bread. Add one third of the cucumber slices on top then one third of the beet slices. Add one third of the fried tofu and cover with one third of the sauce.

Dig in!!