Seeking

09 . 10 . 11

I should start thinking up some creative responses to the question I’ve been getting lately, “what are your plans for the future?” It would be so liberating to ditch the glossy answer and say something unexpected  like “I want to be a good friend,” or “I’d like to learn to play the guitar.” Although a few years ago I would have had told you exactly what I’d be doing after I graduate, today the plans are looking a lot more fluid. And to be honest, I kinda like it.  I’m a seeker; a person who is in a constant state of inquiry and exploration of self and the world around me. My formal education will end soon but the search won’t stop when I have a fancy diploma to hang on the wall. I’ll find something good that may lead to something else that’s good, leaving myself open to new plans, places, and people. Maybe I should tell people my plans are “to keep seeking.” 

Everyone is a seeker in his or her own way, I think. We are concerned about understanding people, place, time, experience and will exert at least some degree of effort trying to develop that understanding further. We seek truth, in many different forms – greater truth, simple truth, and other truths individual to our unique human experience. In the process, we are constantly absorbing ideas, information, and energy to process, accept, reject, or reconsider later. Seeking is both incredibly exciting and exhausting. Throughout the course of our lives, we will find ourselves confident in and frustrated with the vast amounts of input we try so hard to process.

I’ll try and get to the point. For most seekers, the more we begin to see of the world and the more information and experiences we collect in the pursuit of truth, the more we realize just how little of a clue we have at all about what “it all” means. If this sounds cryptic, it’s not meant to be.  I guess I’m just trying to elaborate on that catchy chorus of that Michael Franti radio hit “it seems like everywhere I go / the more I see / the less I know.” We seek to seek. To learn, grow, change habits, try new things. We don’t shouldn’t seek just to find answers. There are no concrete answers. Unless you’re into math I guess. Insight comes in waves and the sets roll in larger at some points in our lives than others. The “answers” are glimmers, flashes, and wonderings that are arrive then disappear for us to find again later.

We’re not supposed to get “it.” And this time I’m being deliberately vague. “It” is the different thing we each seek from our unique view of the world at a single moment. If there were an instructional manual to seeking, I would say this should be the first order of business to address. You won’t always understand, and that’s okay. Second order of business then is to not be afraid. Don’t be afraid of the things you don’t understand. This is true for all things, be they about the future, health, relationships, culture, religion, etc. It is our animal instinct to resist the things that we aren’t familiar with. Fight that. Fight it with every fiber of your being. I’m not talking about intuition. Keep that flame a’glowin’ but try hard to embrace those things you don’t understand, seek them more, for it is in these areas that we resist that we most likely still need to develop our purpose.

Let’s keep seeking.

Warm Green Millet Salad 

Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Green Couscous in Plenty. (He is basically a genius)

  • 1 cup millet  (or couscous)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
  • 1 carton green figs
  • 4-5 cups baby arugula
  • 1 head italian parsley
  • 1 head cilantro
  • 1/4 cup tarragon
  • 1/4 cup mint
  • 1/4 + cup olive oil
Place the millet in a saucepan with the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, fry the onion in olive oil on medium heat until golden and soft. Add the salt and cumin, mix well, and move around the onions over high heat until just browned. Set aside.

For the “green” part of this dish, prepare the herb paste by placing all four herb greens and the olive oil into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Add this to the cooked millet, and mix together well with a fork to fluff it up. Add the cooked onion, pistachios, figs, and arugula and mix until consistent. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

  • mmm that is all my favorite things in a bowl… millet, figs, pistachios, herbs. Heaven! I hate that question of people asking your ‘plan’ – you’d think people would understand that it’s not helpful? Beautiful words, friend.

  • This is lovely! It’s breakfast time, but I’m ready to skip straight to this delicious looking salad! Inspiring words as well, I agree – embrace the unknown; be uncomfortable. No one tells stories to their children all the “safe, comfortable” decisions they made in life.

  • I love it- the idea of being a “seeker”. I often struggle trying to put myself in a box when someone asks, “what do you do?” I feel like I don’t have the right answer, because I’m a creative. Thanks for a wonderful post! The recipe looks delicious too.

  • You know, for the longest time I thought something was wrong with me, because I kept running around, fascinated by everything at the same time. Committing to one thing felt like a loss. But I think I’ve come to the same conclusion as you—I’m a seeker. There’s a Jack Kerouac quotation that says something along the lines of, “I get all hung up running from one star to the next”—but it’s a big thing to realize that that’s not bad. Thanks for this post (and the millet salad looks amazing…figs are my absolute favorite.)

  • I like how you put this—I often contemplate my tendency to “seek” but have previously labeled myself as being a “seekaholic” which has a negative connotation. I love how it’s possible to change perspective and re-write the story to be positive. So I’m doing that now. :)

    The millet salad looks great!

  • Melissa

    Great post! I am a seeker too. For me it makes picking just one career difficult. I figure that as long as I am learning something new and enjoying every moment then that is all that matters. I think that my desire to always learn something new is one reason why I enjoy cooking so much. It’s what make me want to try your recipe. It’s unlike anything I usually make, it sounds healthy and delish too. I have never cooked with millet before. The seeker in me wants to figure it all out.

  • So jealous of your heart shaped measuring cup! Love all of the lively green things happening in this salad. Any chance I can get to use tarragon, I’m in.

  • What a wonderful post! I really enjoyed your message inbetween those beautiful photos. Just wonderful.

  • I’ve generally referred to myself as an explorer. Seeker is a better term, though, because there is almost a desperate desire to experience new things, learn from them and progress in life. I don’t know if you know much about the Myers Briggs personality test, but I’m very strong in the intuition (N) and perception (P) scales, and I bet you are, too.

    Also, the “what’s next?” question—hate it. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree and two minor’s, only because I wanted to have more options after college. It was never because I had a clear career path in mind (I am a seeker).

  • I love what you’re saying about seeking and fully agree!
    This salad sounds amazing, I can’t wait to try it!

  • This salad looks amazing. I love the colors and the ingredients. So vibrant!

  • your blog is so beautiful, Kelsey! Love the idea of seeking and learning continually.

  • Green gorgeousness! this is what I need lately… I’ve never cooked w millet before but now I have a reason to do :)

  • what a beautiful post Kelsey. I think I’m just entering a seeking phase. I thought I had it all figured out – went to college then to grad school, had a great job in my profession and then without warning we up and move to Zürich. I’ve realized the answer to “what are your plans for the future” isn’t really an answer at all, but a feeling. I just want to be happy, so however I can do that each day is a good plan for my future. Funny that it took moving abroad to make me realize this. And right now cooking makes me happy so you can be sure I’ll be trying that millet salad.

  • Smart thinking, you. I honestly believe at this point in my life that having a sense of direction coupled with an open mind allows one to consider all kinds of possibilities and opportunities. The best experiences I’ve had I’ve labeled “left turns” because they can be harder to make against oncoming traffic. They’re the paths we take on our travels we didn’t expect to take and found something special or different. “A path diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by…” right? Seeker, indeed. Enjoy it. And keep writing so others may enjoy.

    Lovely salad, ethereal photography. Always a complete breath of fresh air.

  • Looks absolutely beautiful, and it sounds delicious and healthy too!

  • gorgeous blog/photos/recipes – i can never get enough of figs and am sad the season will soon be coming to an end.

  • What a beautiful post! A great read :) I’m definitely a seeker and I think I know a few people who could benefit by becoming one themselves.

  • I’m probably a little late in saying this, but this is such a lovely recipe. So unexpected and such a fantastic mix of ingredients.

  • Marie

    We remain seekers, through the years.

    We find it, and forget about it, only to look for it again.

    And its alright.

    I thought I wouldn’t feel this vulnerable and incomplete again. But the gift of impermanence presented itself to me, and I have to remember how take that one breath to get my sanity back.

    Your post says to me, its ok, things are just as they are to be.

    Thank you.

  • Oh my! love the green colors, a perfect weekend dinner <3

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