Don't Fence Him In

I often use fairly odd metaphors to describe my dating life (hula hoops for healthy boundaries, trains for my future husband).  So it's not really surprising that I found striking similarities between love and a story about raising wild geese for foie gras.

The traditional method of procuring this delicacy involves strapping the goose down and forcibly shoving copious amounts of corn down its gullet.  Which of course, is like surgically attaching yourself to your mate and forcing him to love you.  The image of Elmyra Duff exclaiming, "I'm gonna hug you and kiss you and love you forever," while squeezing Furrball to death comes to mind.  There's a reason why gluttony is a seven deadly sin and why all the animals were terrified of Elmyra.  No one likes to have copious amount of anything shoved down their throat.  Not even love.

So a man in Spain decided there had to be a better way to skin a cat fatten a goose.  One that wasn't so inhumane and torturous to the animal.  His method required removing the tubes, setting the geese free, and ignoring them.  This was so remarkable most people in the culinary world didn't believe it to be true.  No way could you get foie gras like this.  Because how, without forcing the geese to eat, could the livers possibly grow into the Nerf football size necessary for true foie gras?

The answer?  Because it's in their nature.  In their very DNA.  In order to prepare for winter, geese will naturally stuff themselves.  The only catch?  They have to believe they are wild.  They have to believe they are free.  If they do not believe this.  If they are fed.  Or fenced in.  Or in anyway domesticated their nature will not kick in and they will not gorge themselves.  Their livers will not triple in size.

So the farmer in Spain doesn't do any of the things a traditional farmer would.  There are no fences.  No feeding.  No protecting.  The geese are free to go wherever they want.  Eat whatever they want.  Be whatever they want.  They are truly free.  And because of this, they eat and lounge and don't fly south for the winter.  That's right.  These geese do not fly south for the winter.  Let me say that again.  THEY DO NOT FLY SOUTH FOR THE WINTER.  Because and I quote, "Their DNA is to find the conditions that are conducive to life.  To happiness.  They find it here."

By allowing the geese to be fully what they are without interfering, this man produces the most highly prized foie gras.  The best tasting.  Most humane.  Award wining.  Delicacy.  He keeps them by letting them be free.

Now I think you can all guess where this is going.  In the past I've been that traditional farmer.  I've built fences, had expectations,  clung to my dear goose boyfriend, begged for love.  For attention.  For affection.  For his liver him to do exactly what I wanted.

And well that's worked out exactly how traditional foie gras has.  I've created a lot of fat unhappy geese.  Myself included.

Now imagine.  Imagine if you loved without forcing.  Without clutching.  Without needing.  If you just let your partner be.  If you gave him a wonderful space where he could truly be himself.  Well then he might never leave.  Might never fly South.

Imagine then if you did this for yourself.  If you just let yourself be.  If you gave yourself a wonderful space where you could truly be you.  Well then you might just be able to start your own gaggle.  Because birds of a feather flock together.  And when they find happiness right where they are they create the best tasting relationships.

Just ask the farmer in Spain.


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