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"We here at the Kent Community TimeBank call this 'The Carp Story,' which began when my nutritionist, helping me recover from a serious blood disorder, told me I needed to eat a medicinal soup comprised mostly of pressure-cooked carp. Medicinal value notwithstanding, I had no idea where I was I going to find a carp, much less how I was going to relieve it of its thyroid and gall bladder and then cook it all up in a pressure cooker, eyeballs and all. We still get a few laughs now thinking about the comments and jokes that followed my 'Anybody know where I can find a whole carp?' posting on our TimeBank’s Facebook page that day. We also are stunned to remember how quickly folks rose to the challenge, one after the other: One knew an Asian fish market in Cleveland that carries carp and was headed there now. Another, a recently crowned Ph.D biologist, would be glad to come over that night with her dissecting kit. Another, a former macrobiotic chef, would come over the next day with her pressure cooker and help me cook. Within 24 hours, I’m still stunned to say, I not only had a bowl of carp soup on my kitchen table and another month’s worth in the freezer, I had a whole mouthful of gratitude for this community. Fighting a serious illness can sometimes leave you feeling isolated. Meanwhile, with the help of this same Timebank crew, I’ve made carp soup one other time since that first time, and I’m preparing this week to make it again. Each time, I feel a little closer to something I’ve needed to believe for a long time: I am indeed not alone. Thanks, Timebank forever." - Debra-Lynn Hook @ Kent Community TimeBank, Ohio https://crookedriver.timebanks.org/ . #timebankingis #community #50storiesin50days #timebanks #story #timeasmoney #notalone
Reflection by Edgar Cahn
Yes. The Carp story is awesome: a whole community coming together to address one critical and seemingly idiosyncratic need: a rare fish, an Asian fish market, knowledge of how to remove the carp’s thyroid and gallbladder, a marine biologist with a dissecting kit, a former microbiotic chef, a pressure cooker all come together to address a serious blood disorder.
But in our awe of this moment, are we overlooking how miraculous, how unlikely is it that we are even here. How against all odds is it that this species could have evolved (as noted on day 12) from a prehistoric fish that crawled out of the water. And how miraculous is any moment of any day when it is transformed by purpose and by meaning. How extraordinary is the capacity that each of us has, to create a moment that increases the well-being of another. Or, even more extraordinary, how exceptional is our own capacity to absorb understanding that enhances the capacity of our own being to comprehend, to empathize, to imagine new possibilities and turn them into a new reality.
Making carp soup is miraculous. But so, from a perspective of eternality is every moment of meaning that we can create in each of our lives.