Each year I try to watch as many of the Oscar nominated films as possible. This year, I’m noticing in a theme, an idea I keep coming back to over and over again when thinking about the films I’ve seen so far. It’s the internal struggle of a person, the individual experience that we can’t see with the naked eye. When you meet someone, we see them only as they are right at that moment; their past, what brought them to this point and makes them who they are, is totally hidden from us. In Manchester by the Sea, the movie starts out with us meeting the main character, who seems totally disinterested and cold. Not to spoil the film, but we find out why he became this way and your view of him completely changes. It’s devastating. Moonlight takes the opposite approach, following a young boy through his life. At the end you see what he’s become, but you see him for who he really is and what he’s been through instead of what he is presenting himself as in that moment. Nocturnal Animals has all kinds of struggles, past, present, and questions of the future. It’s subtle and leaves a lot of room for the viewer to fill with questions and uncertainties.
These films are portraits of human vunerability and struggle. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking all at once. We are all vunerable, but that weakness is invisible to everyone else. You can’t see my body image struggles, or my self doubt or my anxiety. So why do we ignore the vulnerabilities of others when we know the power of our own? It makes me stop and think about all the people living around me, each with their own separate reality. It’s a little strange to live so close to someone, even someone as close as my husband, but to be unable to touch them.
When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.” Madeleine L’Engle
Maybe I’m thinking too hard for a Saturday morning, but really it feels good to get these thoughts on paper. And please go see those 3 movies. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I really don’t like black licorice, so it’s taken fennel some time to grow on me. Though I don’t think I’ll ever eat it raw (tried it once, never again) I do like fennel when cooked and complimented by other flavors.
Blended vegetable soups are a staple in the winter here. They are so simple to prepare and the provide perfect nourishment for the cold weather and limited sunlight. For this vegan soup recipe, I roasted carrots and fennel before simmering them in a few Asian inspired ingredients to add a little punch. Ginger, chili garlic paste, and coconut milk transformed the roasted veggies into a fabulous dinner.
Spicy Roasted Carrot & Fennel SoupPrint Recipe
- 2 lbs carrots
- 1 medium fennel
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp chili garlic paste
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease a baking sheet.
Peel carrots and cut into even sized chunks. Remove fennel fronds and cut fennel into wedges. Toss vegetables in olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 40 minutes or until very tender.
When vegetables come out of the oven, transfer into a soup pot. Add coconut milk, ginger, chili garlic paste and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup to smooth.
Top bowls with a little leftover coconut milk, chili garlic paste, and fennel fronds.