I like food. I like playing with making food. I like tasting new flavors and learning new techniques for making food. Occasionally, I even like to talk about food. I like to brag about how my wife makes amazing meals for me to eat. Despite life being crazy busy, she makes things that are new and interesting on a semi regular basis, which is pretty impressive considering how the kids behave sometimes. Just recently, we had a bottle of "rose water" arrive in the mail, and my wife exclaimed "Hooray, I can finally try that wine pasta with the saffron and the rose water sauce." I frankly have almost no idea what to expect, other than that I'll experience something probably incredibly delicious with flavors I've never experienced before in my life. When I come across something spectacular and special, I want to share it. It's part of how I connect to life and to other people who can rejoice with me in the celebration of life that eating represents.
Since I no longer feel morally bound by the paradigms of Mormonism, I naturally have a desire to expand my boundaries and in the process I discover new worlds of flavor. Recently the expanding horizons we've been playing with have involved tea. Though our first tries weren't very good, we've found some basic flavors that we've fallen in love with. There is an entire world of flavors involved in tea drinking and we've only just scratched the surface. I've tried a number of types of tea, experimented with different techniques of preparation, and learned how to work with new types of equipment. Its as if I just opened a new flavor world just waiting for me to play in it. That's my perception. With anything that fun I'd just love to reach out and connect to people in sharing just the simple joy of flavor.
But who would I share such a connection with? My perceptions aren't the only ones that matter to make a connection. To most of my social world from my life before leaving the church, I'm participating in a forbidden act. It would look like I was smearing the signs of my unholiness as a badge of honor- rejoicing in wickedness. Some would probably think that I probably left the church because I just wanted to sin anyways and so came up with excuses to allow myself to do so. For some, it would be as if I were posting a picture of using a dangerous drug like Meth and then bragging about how awesome it was and asking for people to follow in my footsteps. It could be seen as crass and immoral- an example of the bad things that come to those who wander in spiritually dangerous territory. Some might even speculate that my poor health over the past few months was a punishment from God or a withdrawal of blessings for being willing to cook with and partake of forbidden foods in rejection of the pure will of God. Without shared perception, there is little room for human connection. Even while I can enjoy playing with new flavors and using new tools for creating new worlds of experience, I mourn the loss of connection.