I’ve been asked lately, as I begin to refine the direction in which my life is moving, what I envision for myself, my future, etc. I discovered quickly that I did not have a very articulate response to this question, and received a sort of “WTF?” reaction from those who I have shared my vision. When asked about my plans I say that I’m going to save up some money over the summer, attempt an apprenticeship/partnership with a nutritional counselor that I’ve never even met, which will lead me to fall and the commencement of a hopeful raw dairy ranching internship. In other words, my ambitions entail working with someone I don’t even know, maybe, and milking some farm animals. Needless to say, this doesn’t enthuse others the way it does me. So this is an attempt to explain, in more invigorating terms, exactly what I’m in pursuit of in life at the moment.
My name is Matt Stone, and it is safe to say that at this point in my life I am on a “quest for nourishment.” Is there a career at the end of this rope? Potentially, but I cannot let career-oriented thoughts dominate my decision-making or I will never obtain the experience I’m after. A true artist, starving or making millions, must create art. In the same way, a desire burns within me, and has burned within me for many many years, to live in communion with the natural, nourishing life cycles. This identical flame has fueled each of my stages thus far – the pursuit of environmental sustainability, retreating into the wilderness for weeks at a time, traditional cooking, gardening, hunting and fishing, spirituality, and now nourishment in the form of whole foods nutrition that fully adheres to the life cycle.
And the key is the communion with the whole cycle. Simply eating wholesome foods in an apartment somewhere, recycling my glass and aluminum, and going on nature hikes on the weekend is incomplete for me. When I cook chicken stock I desperately want to return the bones to the soil in which more life forms will flourish and animals will graze. I want to see the full-circle transformation take place. I ache to witness the fusion of bones, hides, leaves, weeds, dust, rock, manure, and water from the sky in the formation of radiant green grass which is in turn transposed into succulent flesh and edible milk that I can be nourished by. Nothing inspires or amazes me more than bearing witness to this eternal life and perpetual rebirth that gave rise not only to our food, but to our very existence.
Although pulling on a goat’s nipples, shoveling manure, and ending the life of an animal you cherish with your bare hands is not for everyone, this type of raw experience has always led me to the forefront of my own spiritual resonance. It has propelled me beyond the childish delusions that I briefly had about peace, joy, kindness, giving, positive thinking, and heaven/nirvana. Instead the door to feeling the enrichment of a full-spectrum perspective has opened, and my ability to see beauty in all things, painful and pleasureful, in birth and in death, knows no boundaries.
My inspiration, as you can see, comes from a realm beyond a cowardly retreat from society in search of refuge or an egotistical need to accomplish ideological superiority over the common man – it comes from a raging desire within to give and take pure nourishment in harmony at the fundamental level of human existence. Plus, roasted pastured chicken, fresh ground sausage, rack of lamb, duck liver, strawberry-kefir shakes, ripe cheese, ice cream? Hot diggety!