Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cooking for one is an exercise in self love.  It reveals, at least for me, how I really feel about myself.  Where I fit in my own pecking order.  When I cook, I fill the kitchen with love.  If you cannot fill each bite with love, sheer unselfish, genuine, eat-this-and-feel-loved love, then you should not cook.  When I don't have the energy to love through the meals I prepare, I simply do not cook.  I'd rather not risk feeding you half-loved food, we can order pizza.  I will love you a different way tonight.

So now that I am cooking for one, just for me, I realize that I do not seem to love myself the way I love John, or my interns, or even my dogs (whom I spend hours not only cooking for, but carefully gathering ingredients... they are well loved).  I will spend many hours preparing and rolling tamales to feed a house of friends.  I will make meals that I have no desire to eat (like Thanksgiving turkey, or turnips in butter), because they bring joy into this world.

But at the start of the day, when I wake up I have no desire to cook for me.  To pour the same eat-this-carefully-grown-seasoned-roasted-kale-it-is-so-good-for-your-everything into even mixing yogurt and granola.  Since John has left I've made several pots of kidney liver stew for the pups, I have managed only two salads for myself (and macaroni and cheese, that I did manage to add broccoli to).

I decided tonight, to love myself more.  To put the same tenderness and care for the future that I pour into food for those I hold dearest, into myself.  So I went back to a staple food.  A vegetable that was the first I learned to cook. It is the vegetable that I first taught Christie Ko to cook, the first I ever made for John.  It was what I ate when I learned to eat, actually eat, not just subsist.

Tonight I sauteed it with caramalized onions and crimini mushrooms, I steamed broccoli as a last minute add, but all the other vegetables are just window dressing for the courgettes.  I have two zucchini plants in my garden that I am not tending to as well as the sunflowers, or the peas, or even the lettuce (almost big enough to eat).  Tomorrow I will plant a third plant, and I will make a pact to nurture that bed more carefully, and myself too.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Listening to the ice, staring at the spring

Listening to bowhead whales is its own sort of music, strangely rich and simultaneously made hollow by the electricity that captured it.  The low moans of the bowheads are accented by the out-of-this-world sound effects of ice seals.  If you've never heard it I can hardly describe it, other than to say that seals are other-worldly.

It does not endear me to them.

Belugas whistle monotonic in my ear, and look like an answer to a year long problem, but sound more like the problem itself.

Listening to bowheads is its own sort of music, made manifest by an underscore of the Alaskan Folk Festival which I play in the background... two ends of the same world whispering in my ears.  But it is not raining in Oregon, there is no ice in my home.  There is a sleepy puppy staring  longingly at the warm belly of an older pup, who may or may not snuggle with her.  There is a maple tree with young leave, budding peas, sunflowers just starting life.

I feel new, or ready to be new,  I look ahead of me and wonder if I'm starting the same life again, or do I play a new character this time?