Ancient Crush

Yam lower stone for crushing olives AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

You’ve seen nations

Rise

And fall,

Felt oil

Extracted

From trees’ toil.

You’ve seen

The farmers

Tend the soil,

Bread dipped

To nourish

Heart and soul,

As children laughed

And played

And lived

And died

Through centuries of

War and spoil,

While you remained

Above the boil,

Till peace returns

For olives’ roil.

 

 

Note: The photo is of an ancient base stone (called “Yam” in Hebrew) of the grinding stones that are used for the first step of extracting oil from olives. A current-day olive grove can be seen in the background to the left. Olives were first domesticated about 6,000 years ago, likely in the Mediterranean basin. Documented history of deliberate oil pressing can be found as early as 4,500 years ago (around 2,500BCE).

To this day, making olive oil involves several stages of crushing and rinsing to extract the oil. In many places, olives are still harvested by hand or by beating the fruit off of the trees. The olives are then washed, and crushed by milling stones (traditionally between a bottom stone like the one in the photo and one or two mill stone that stand perpendicular to it and roll around the base stone). The millstone/s were historically moved by use of man-power or animal power, and in some places still are. The pulp is placed in woven bags or baskets, then the baskets themselves are pressed. The liquid from the press bags gets drawn into a reservoir where oil is left to settle and separate. Oil is then skimmed off and allowed to settle again, sometimes repeatedly, to remove impurities.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Ancient

 

 

Churn and Roil

churn AtaraKatz

Photo: Atara Katz

 

In the winds

Of turmoil,

Hold on tight

Don’t recoil.

For all change,

Churn and roil,

Shapes the earth

Feeds the soil.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Keep Your Peace

A quote for today … a reminder …

inner peace

Maintaining Inner Peace …

It does not mean to have apathy to what is happening. It does not mean you don’t care. It does not mean that things do not touch your heart. It does not mean you have no feelings about what is wrong and should not ever be happening, but is.

It does mean keeping your center.

It does mean holding hope.

It means to not be swept up by anger, hate, frustration, worry, pain … Instead it calls for keeping a boundary of compassion (toward self and others) illuminated in kind care around one’s heart … to keep the dark in check, so it not wriggle in to take a hold.

It means acknowledging that darkness offers an opportunity for contrast, that in its universal way, it even serves to balance. Day and Night. Light and Dark. A difficult lesson. One I still do not fully understand.

It means seeking beauty. Seeing beyond the swirls and eddies. Smiling at the multitude of good. It never left: it is already–always has been, will be–there.

It means remembering what can be done. Not losing compass for the path that can be taken and still matters–integrity, empathy, listening. The way of heart.

Maintaining Inner Peace … It is a gentle breeze of calm in winds of other feelings. A sphere of peace, even in the midst of chaos. A home for the soul. A hand to offer without being pulled or tugging. A being.

Hope can be, is, restored.

And so it is …

peaceful