I think often of that Sylvia Plath bit.
About making choices and those damn figs. You know the one.
Well, I sit here in this space, again.
Not due to choices or regret — but the weight of knowing which figs are nearing their fall and the ones that have yet to bloom.
When I am sad — with the things I have in front of me — I think about how lucky I am to have cooking. I suppose I have writing too. But let me know tell you about this thing that I have.
The first thing that brought me back when the Earth cracked beneath me was chopping onions for a dish I’d be serving later that evening.
You see, food is reliable in my eyes. I know that I can add another egg to make something fluffier. I know I can leave a steak in a hot pan to get that crust I love so much or reduce a stock to make a sauce.
I know butter makes mostly everything taste better.
I know that I can dissolve into a recipe like the salt itself.
And I know that when I set it on the table in front of someone, it is generally good.
When I feel my raw self, cooking brings me back. And God do I put so much into it.
Attraction is funny. And moving from there is tricky. People are tricky and mysterious and flaky And I am one of them. Though I am not good at being mysterious these days. I will say that I am guilty of trying to be too cool. I think it’s called being single, though I’m not sure.
In my head, I just say, “F*ck this, F*ck this — just cook and mop and be a good chef, dude” and move on.
I am just soft enough though to know that I will still put so much trust and hope in people. I will still allow myself and others grace. I will still work so hard at communicating in a way that I hope comes off as helpful, rather than making things more difficult to navigate (than they already are.)
Relationships with people, in my specific circumstance, are tricky. I am just all sorts of vulnerable by nature and at times can just be plain awful to myself. I feel awful for making people feel awful.
So, I’ll go home and cook.
I will fill my cup with forgiveness because again, I have no idea what I’m doing.
I will throw another tablespoon of butter in the pan because it needs it. Hell, I need it.
Cooking, regardless of the many things I’ve messed up, always brings me back to myself and that I truly love it. Creating. Consuming.
And having it consume me.
To be honest, that’s how I’ve always looked at cooking. I let it consume me. Sometimes beat me down to a pulp. Sometimes eat something so good I wish I had someone across from me to share it with. I have wept more times at a stove then I care to admit.
Not so much from over-salting the eggs, but because somehow I still have a way to care for myself and others. That makes me feel very lucky.
Relationships are just plain tough. Nitty gritty hurtful stuff. Also full of love and pleasure and sustenance. I am full of all these things.
Well, some have fallen and rotted away. Others are getting ripe and some have yet to bud — but I am okay in this space, right now. Because deep in the belly of the tree I do love myself and can feel okay when things are a bit wonky.
I know that when I wake up the next morning, it is a bit holy for me. Like maybe something got washed away in the great depth.
That, I am thankful for.
And for you. And you. And you.
And for my pots and pans and heat and pressure and time.
I am always thankful for you.