“KNOW THYSELF!” the Wise across diverse cultures, times and climes have exhorted us.
So one day amidst our daily meditations with our hoes in the field - laying beds, composting, sowing, weeding, harvesting OR feeding and chasing after our happy free ranging poultry OR running shop book keeping, studying inventories, we decided to sit awhile on the grass and open our etymological dictionaries.
So now who are we?
Lumiere… What does our name denote?
Where does it come from?
We learn the name we chose simply because it broadly meant ‘Light’ that in turn, denotes ‘Wisdom’ is actually a French word of Latin origin and is the ‘neuter plural of luminare (“star”) become feminine’.
We feel both amazed and affirmed all at once! One, because by very name we are Plural just as our dream is. Just as the Organic vision of Life is… Inclusive and interconnected like a beautifully arranged constellation of stars.
And not just stars but ‘stars become feminine’… Which is even better! Why, we shall come to a bit later.
‘Organic’ stores have begun to abound in Bangalore.
True, this mushrooming on one hand is a positive response to a growing and, rather sadly, well founded insecurity about the safety of the food we consume and feed our loved ones with on a daily basis.
It is also made possible by the encouraging presence of a floating population of young professionals and their families in the city who have had both exposure and wisdom to realize that paying that little extra for safe, ethically grown wholesome food saves a great deal on heartache & hospital bills later.
On the flip side this trend remains just what it is, a trend with its implication of being just driftwood riding the wayward and aimless currents of information.
What causes us real concern however, is this that the Organic is in danger of becoming just another form of business that exploits the real insecurities that exist about safe food without bothering to see, let alone actively engage with, the real issues, the larger picture. Here we make a jumpcut as to why ‘neuter plural of luminare (“star”) become feminine’ delighted us.
While Activism is one component of this shift there is another that is gentler yet more pervasive, persuasive and truly profound in its power…The concern with Safe Food and an Organic way of Life is the mark of the irrepressible resurgence of a universal life-affirming ‘Feminine’ from under the back breaking yoke, spanning millennia, of life-negating dominance of the ‘Masculine’.
Philosophies, ancient and modern have engaged with these two terms not so much as biologically determined genders but as two sets of values.
With ‘Her’ resurgence the life affirming values like the gracious acknowledgement of the reality of our interconnectedness & mutual dependences rise to consciousness dissolving the stiff & unreal rigidity of hierarchical aloofness.
Diversity & difference are cherished as against the faceless processes of homogenization & identity.
Compassion, care and yes, nurturance undoes mechanical criteria of management, redeems and takes over the core of all human activity.
This is important if we are to survive at all as a species.
While we resort to the use of words like ‘She ‘, ‘Her’ etc, please do bear in mind we are not talking of trends or cults of any kind.
As hands-on food growing Organic farmers & food processors today we are but just reconnecting with the deep seated repositories of unconscious memory while drawing upon our own experiences of Earth and Nature.
After all, almost universally Earth/Mother both have been referred to, more often than not, as ’Mother’, not ‘Father’.
As we were saying earlier, Activism is just one component of this shift.
Sensibility [(noun)the quality of being able to appreciate and respond to complex emotional or aesthetic influences] as also that creative Artfulness of attitude that comes with the engagement with the oblique, the cylic /rhythmic, the tangential, the ‘peripheral’, the indirect, the invisible (or rather the not-yet –visibly manifest) …all of this assumes greatest importance.
In short, sheer Creativity, & the guts to Imagine, is the main component in this shift to the Feminine by which we and our children may still possibly sustain upon this Earth.
So outwardly even if for now perhaps we too look like just part of a ‘trend’, yet another player in the Organic Food scene, we know for sure that our little venture, Lumiere, is part of the manifestation of something deeper, more profound, more interconnected and beautiful that small groups of people have already begun to vividly imagine into being all around the globe.
It is this sense of inspired sanctity that makes our practice special, little else.
Perhaps you can see it already if you have the tuning and thereby ,an eye for the little tell-tale details? If it hasn’t all jelled together yet into a clear picture, let’s talk it together through the interactive platform of our new blog series called ‘Ambrosia’.
It is time to flip another page of that Etymological dictionary with which we began this session laying aside our earth covered hoes under the shade of one of our many obliging Tree-friends in our farm.
Now it is time to take a brief look at what the name of our blog means.
‘Ambrosia’: “The Greek ?μβροσ?α (ambrosia) is semantically linked to the Sanskrit ???? (am?ta) as both words denote a drink or food that gods use to achieve immortality. The two words appear to be derived from the same Indo-European form *?-m?-tós, "un-dying.
(n-: negative prefix from which the prefix a- in both Greek and Sanskrit are derived; m?: zero grade of *mer-, "to die"; and -to-: adjectival suffix).”
India’s cultural heritage has always said that Insight born of deep meditativeness and experience is verily A-mruta or Ambrosia. So it is with us as we earnestly practice the precepts of the Organic Vision whether it is with our hoes directly OR with our ladles and kitchen knives OR our interactions with other producers like ourselves whose committed work too graces our shelves in the form of fine, safe and nobly created produce gathered together just for you.
It is time we close our Etymological dictionary and resume hoeing for now. Tasks beckon in the farm, kitchen, office and warehouse.
But do let us talk here, definitely at least twice a month for now, whenever Ambrosia appears …
After all, we all get by with a little help from our friends and great company always works like, yes! You said it! A quaff of refreshing Ambrosia !
Let’s raise a glass of nectar to that one!
(We hope you tasted our Nectars this year that we prepped with our hands in the good old fashioned way? No? Then don’t hesitate to order!Its great to tast that magical procession of moments that make Life the miracle that it is!)
Credits: Shown here is a detail depicting a starry sky from a Drawing with Reed pen after the painting of the same title 'Cypresses' by the artists Vincent Van Gogh, 1889