About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


Knife in mouth

“Don’t ever stick a knife into your mouth! Bring food to your mouth only with a fork!”
These were some of my first lessons in table manners. Early on I internalized continental table manners and I would never ever lick a knife in public or even private.
    This etiquette taboo feels almost like some ancient or perhaps the original part of table manners, but it is not. As an essential eating instrument as a fork is, it happens to be a relatively recent arrival. It spread to Europe from Persia, via Byzantium and Renaissance Italy. A table fork became a commonplace only by the 18th century. Before that most people used just knives and their fingers. But after the fork arrived, the original humble two pronged fork quickly developed into dozens and dozens of shapes and specialized uses with strict customs and rules. The fork nicely represents the evolution and co-evolution of an instrument and cultural customs and norms.
    But the evolution of a fork, like any evolution, is ongoing. First appeared sporks - hybrids between spoons and forks. They were soon followed by even more popular sporves - combinations of spoons, knives and forks into one utensil. In my family we love hiking and backpacking. And when we need to carry everything on our backs for miles and miles, I tell you, these strange space and weight saving eating chimeras make perfect sense. Decades after being told not to do it, I started again to lick knives and even stick them into my mouth - with a sporf there is no other option: it combines spoon, fork and knife. And after I broke both of my wrists last year, I found the sporf especially convenient not only for backpacking but also for daily use at home.
    This Sunday in worship we celebrate Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. This year we will apply the universal principle of evolution to the church table manners and customs. Even Holy Communion has its origins in ancient Jewish rituals and a long history of development in different historical contexts and periods. As we celebrate Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, we will look at how it applies to our religion and how it can broaden and enrich our understanding and appreciation of Holy Communion, this important part of our spiritual life.

Two of our Swedish camping sporves.

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