One of the most common tools in the kitchen of my childhood was a lowly meat grinder. It had a handle for turning, a clamp to secure it to the table, and a wooden prod to stuff the meat into it. Most folks used it to grind sausage because almost everyone raised pigs and ate a lot of pork.
It took a strong arm to turn that handle, so it usually fell to the men of the house to do the job. But first, the meat had to be prepared. Excess fat had to be trimmed from it. Small bones could cause a sudden jam. Then came the added spices to enhance the taste and make eating it a joy for the palette.
Once a batch was ground, the eating started. If you messed up with the spices, you were stuck with it until it was eaten, if you could stand it. Then you’d make another batch, this time being more careful with what you chose to grind into it. So it was a perpetual process of gathering, grinding, eating. making corrections, gathering, grinding, eating, and so on.
Well, as it turns out, life itself is a meat grinder, and everybody knows it. There stands Mr. Life with a powerful arm, ever slowly turning the old Universal meat grinder on and on and on, as it oozes out what we gather to put in it. Then, if we get the ingredients right, we take a bite and go, “Ahhhh.” But if we mess up on the ingredients, we have to grimace and gag as we eat the wicked stuff.
To make the great sausage of life you have to begin somewhere. That first youthful gatherings of what you’re going to grind is where it begins. If you blow it there, you will spend endless years experimenting to get it right. Meanwhile you will have to choke and gag until you finally get it together. The secret to getting it right the first time is to consult those who have been grinding pork for a long time, and found out the hard way exactly what makes great tasting sausage. After all, it took them a lot of gagging and regurgitating to get to where they are today. So why should you get sick on your own corruption, when all you need is to simply do what they advise?
It doesn’t take any skill at all to grind. Life is a grind. It’s what you grind up that matters in the act of life. Every old, experienced meat grinder still alive has a list of no-no ingredients burn-branded into their memory of what nobody in their right mind should stuff into their meat grinder. Here is an incomplete listing for every young whippersnapper who is gathering to grind. You are advised to drown these in their own juices! DO NOT PUT THEM IN YOUR GRINDER!
Here is the no-no list: Dirt, especially mud-slinging. Cigarette butts. Booze. Hate. Fornication. Marihuana. Condoms. Blasphemy. Aborted fetuses. Ego pills. Sexual perversion. Disrespect. An extremely bitter herb called DOP *. Acid of tongue. Pornography. Blaming somebody else for your own reckless gatherings. Character assassination. Crime. Lying. Laziness. Revenge. Fist shaking at God. Jealousy. Love of darkness. Meanness. Remember, this is only a partial listing.
*(Regarding DOP: It means dishonoring of parents. That one will induce violent regurgitation when eaten. It can have devastating effects on your whole family. You will be very sorry if you have to taste it. Old timers confess that if you eat it, you’ll never be the same again. Many have had an early death because of it. Take care! That one will kill you or ruin you for life. I mean, that one is right up there under the DOG pill—dishonoring of God).
I would be remiss if I failed to tell you the difference between the old-fashion Universal Meat Grinder of my youth, and the meat grinder of life. You see, the old Universal had the option of simply throwing away a bad batch of meat and starting all over again until you got it right. Not so with life’s meat grinder. In that arena, the divine Law of Sowing and Reaping applies. What you gather and grind YOU MUST EAT! One cannot escape that responsibility. You MUST eat it yourself, and must eat it until you are swallowed by a grave!
A stark question suddenly crashes through the door at this point: What stage are you in right now, gathering, grinding, or eating? If you’re gathering, maybe you’re reading this just in time. If you’re grinding, maybe you should start all over again while there’s opportunity. I suppose it depends on how eager you are to tear into that wicked concoction you threw together for yourself.