Last weekend’s harvest moon has really got me thinking about nourishment. As the seasons change, sometimes so do our priorities. The back to school vibe of September is a great time to check in and figure out what best fills you up – nutritionally, emotionally, even spiritually.
Most things that are worth doing involve hard work. Achieving goals and chasing dreams are rarely easy paths to follow, requiring a certain mental, emotional and sometimes physical strength. However, it is important to always remember that even the strongest of us need to incorporate rest into our routines. You can’t get stronger without a period of recovery.
Everything is so competitive these days, from parenting to the office to the gym to the kitchen, it can be exhausting. I say, rather than run yourself ragged, take a break from the competition, relax and sit back. You aren’t as behind the self-aggrandizers as it may seem, and can do what you love better after a recharge. Enjoy the weekend y’all.
Today is the first day I have updated Goat of the Day from my iPhone! Screens get a lot of criticism, including contributing to insomnia, anxiety, depression, ruining our relationships, making us terrible parents and generally slow down our brains. However, I think that the smart phone revolution has a lot of benefits for humanity. For example, it makes it a lot easier to keep tabs on old friends you may have otherwise lost contact with. My family relies heavily on calendars in order to stay organized and a lot of notes and journaling that would have required lugging around a bunch of things is eliminated – I can keep it all tucked away in my pocket! I also love being able to quickly share photographs – when I was a kid if I wanted to share photographs you would have to get the film developed and pay for prints – now with a few clicks I can send photos across the Atlantic and basically no cost as things happen. I wonder, if in a few decades the weariness over such devices will have faded the same way suspicion over other new technologies in the past.
Everyone has a story to tell, but sometimes there is not always someone there to listen. To be a good friend, sometimes you have to be interested rather than interesting. Have a listen to someone’s story, it might be entertaining, you might learn something and most of all listening is a wonderful act of kindness.
Today’s goat of the day comes from the film Ski-baz, or The Skier. The Skier was directed and written by Fereidoun Najafi. The film follows the day in the life of Jolie, a small boy in red wellies who lives in rural, southwest Iran amongst the Bakhtiari tribes. Jolie has cared for a mountain goat that wandered into his village to escape wolves; however, a death in his family network has made his parents wish for it to be sacrificed in a traditional funerary ceremony. To not sacrifice the goat would be to dishonour his family and imbalance important economic distinctions between groups. Jolie is also on a quest to get enough money to buy some new skis so he can compete in a skiing competition, which will give him enough money to potentially keep the goat.
The main theme was not animal rights or coming of age; rather, the steady creep of globalization and change against traditional, tribal values. The Bakhtiari people have long inhabited the southwest corner of Iran as pastoralists, although the number of nomadic pastoralists has significantly dwindled. According to legend, some believe they were descended from Cyrus the Great of Persia. Sheep, goats and their associated by-products are a large part of the traditional economy of the Bakhtiari, but in a world increasingly connected by technology many values fade along with the nomadism. In some ways this is good, for example women can move more freely throughout society. In other ways, letting go of old traditions is sad. By the end of the film, Jolie had seemed to have moved on from his pet goat onto his next quest across the snowy hills. The Skier was nominated for a Asia Pacific Screen Awards for Best Youth Feature Film in 2017.
The balance between the old while welcoming the new can be difficult. As an anthropologist, I really enjoyed this film and learning about this part of the world. As a goat enthusiast, I wish that there had been more goats.
Note: Until today, all of the goats have been from my own personal photos. Today’s goat of the day comes from a picture from the film.
Happy Halloween! I hope that you all have some lovely tricks, treats and shenanigans and enjoy!
In a previous post, goat’s dietary preferences were discussed and some mythology about what goats actually eat were dispelled. However, goats do enjoy eating some unusual things. For example, goats can eat and digest poison ivy leaves without issue. The urushiol compound that causes the nasty, blistering rash in humans does not effect them at all, leading some people to use them as a means to mitigate and destroy poison ivy. You can even hire a herd of goats in some areas to take care of excess brush and such plants! In the UK, poison ivy is rare, but there are still unpleasant, rash-inducing plants about, such as stinging nettle. Unsurprisingly, goats do not experience similar negative reactions to stinging nettle, and are known to enjoy the leaves as a snack. Perhaps goat browsing is an effective and fun solution to problematic plants.
When the world becomes colder as autumn settles in, it is easy to feel tired at the end of the week. Taking rest is an excellent form of self-care, especially at the end of a busy week. I hope that you have a lovely and relaxing weekend.
You are likely aware that the term for a youth goat is kid, much like a casual term for human children. The origin of the word comes from Norse, specifically referring to young goats, its first known use was approximately 900 years ago. Over the centuries, the word kid expanded to people, particularly young, mischievous people, and is likely the origin of the word “child.” The meaning of the word kid expanded to a verb sometime around the 1800s meaning “to gently tease.” I hope that sometimes you get a chance to kid around with your pals.