I made a sauce of roasted acorn squash and caramelized onions and thyme and tossed it with pasta and sprinkled the top with roasted cauliflower and grated parmesan cheese. The whole thing came together into one pot, the way I like it. I’ve rarely been ever able to manage dealing with more than one pot. Unless it’s brunch, in which case, I take special pleasure with ensuring that the waffles are golden and warm enough to melt the butter at the same time that the coffee is full of steam and the bacon is still sizzling and foamed with fat. The harmony of all of that, on a Sunday morning, early afternoon, is divine, isn’t it? And the eggs! It’s electric.
Which makes me fiddle at the question of timing and how often I become obsessed by a linear order to things. I am so easily distracted from the present if I think I’ve found some intellectual way to deconstruct in my mind how I can take the next steps into the life I want for myself at fifty.
But the whole process is painstaking and futile – it’s taken me this long to realize, that there’s really no way of timing it all precisely. It’s taken me this long to realize that I might as well throw order to the wind for the adventure of unknowing, dash the impatience of youth for tantalizing serendipity, relinquish the completeness of control I cannot have for the dissonance of finding what I need for myself both inside and outside in some strange and twisted gnarly web.
When I was a little girl, my mother set an egg timer for me to finish brushing my teeth, tying my shoes, eating my cereal. She set a timer for me to finish routines, because I got so easily lost in them. Even then, I tried to trace through clustered clouds the color of conch, a linear path. I looked for black and white in places they didn’t exist. When I became a teenager and even after I turned twenty, and twenty-one, I continued to fight the ground mightily, in favor of demystifying what I couldn’t understand, en route to places the world over. I routinely took flight to avoid looking at the ground to tie my shoes. I secretly thought I could make sense of space, if I could just have time.
And then, suddenly, in a fit of fighting the questions, in a desire to confront my fear of stagnation, I’ve taken time from the middle of two dots – twenty and thirty – and managed to stay put, to get grounded, for a few years, atleast. I’ve tossed twenty-six years of luggage into one pot, with a constantly cranking mind, hoping to satisfy the aching heart in my belly. Maybe this is what the ground feels like, when you finally stop fighting it and you realize you can’t get the distance just yet, to understand the order of each piece. Maybe it IS possible to make peace with my feet planted in the earth? Planted in front of the counter, with a wooden spoon, planted in a moment as it struggles to skate away.