Saturday, August 29, 2009

This energy--the waves, the lack of Armyness, the sunrise--makes the thought of ever going home a painful one. Here, there is less urgency to be married (the root of all turmoil).

I think that I could learn to live for the moment if our Saturdays were started at dark on the beach, me huddled in towels watching his dark figure paddle out beyond the waves that crest.

But he loves his work a lot more than surfing. Why? I have no earthly idea. He's one of the black specks bobbing with the water's rise and fall, the closest you will ever get to a recognizable photo.

He told me once that standing on the beach in either Italy or Spain made him feel like getting paid for his job was unbelievable, and that other times he felt like he was earning every. red. cent. Two years later I understand that sentiment more than he may ever know. But moments with this much peace pulsing through them probably are too good to be true for longer than a few hours.

[live in the present, begin with the face value of being here right now]

Thursday, August 27, 2009

But then the rain began again and we "couldn't" go walking.

The lock had broken, so we just pushed the door in.
- Mary Ann Samyn, "This Is Cage"

Maybe that's how it was (or is?), an induced constriction. Let's open the airways a little. A little more. Cultivate a joke that only we know. This may not be a solution but I'm banking on it being the key to finding one--soon-ish--to the broken lock.

The sunny side, the lemonade, is this weekend in California. Ah!, sweet breathing space.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I am not wishing to be an anchoress. I am not counting on anything. I am remembering learning to swim--no metaphor--at the Bambi Motel, Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. If this is pride, then sometimes I too am amazed my soul stays in my body.
- Mary Ann Samyn, "From The Little Book of Female Mystics"

So much has happened, continues to happen, here. I had forgotten that a heart could hurt and love equally and at the same time, or maybe I just think I ever knew. And this is only proof of some personal evolution. I don't really care what it is or why it is or why it lingers here, or how much worse it might be without prayer flags and meditations. I just want it to leave, to do its work and leave us better off.

As for the things I haven't been able to say for myself, to myself, a blitz of second hand positivity may save me. Someone unexpected told me to envision the things that I want from this life, to be who I am, and also that I'm right to want this huge thing that now feels impossible--a light among darkness.

And in the meantime, I am working to loosen my grip just so the knuckles find their color again, just so my feet become mobile. I am trying not to count on anything.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

boys night out

...prohibited me from keeping an eye on my peas. I wish that was my largest complaint about bar hopping with drunk boys. I don't care how many times I am corrected, "no, it's dude's night out."

Yeah, I was there, boys, and next time I'm choosing farmers market peas over the honky-tonks on Broadway.

So my hopeful purple hull pea experiment has gone awry. They've overcooked to a color and consistency that resembles tar and they taste a little like...dirt. I added some chicken stock, worcestershire sauce and red wine vinegar with hopes of making them some version of palatable but I won't be surprised if the situation is irreversible.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

peas, please

Twice in one day! I know, I know...I just got so excited about my first foray into slow-cooker purple hull peas that I couldn't wait to share the recipe even though I don't know how they will end up tasting. I'm going on their premature aroma--delish. And they are vegan friendly because I don't believe in cooking with ham hocks no matter how Southern it may be.

Slow-Cooker Purple Hull Peas (and Okra)

Fresh peas, hulls removed...a pound or two
one onion chopped
2 cloves of garic, crushed a little but mostly whole
2 sprigs fresh tarragon
a couple of handfuls of fresh okra, ends removed, then cut in half length-wise
salt (a little less than a tsp.) and pepper (about 1/2 tsp) to taste
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1-2 Tbsp olive oil

Throw veggies, legumes and spices in the crockpot then cover with water (about 4 cups). Overtop, drizzle olive oil and stir everything together. Plan to remove bay leaves, tarragon sprigs, and cloves of garlic.

I can't say much for time because I just covered my pot and walked away, but the farmers market guy said about 3 hours and my mom suggested setting the crock on "high" because, "you can always turn it down later."
This morning, I rolled out of bed with swollen eyes from the night before--things are a little tricky on the home front right now. I had an 8 a.m. date with a friend to scope the local farmer's market. To make the remedy that much more potent, I opened the door and was greeted with bizarre and unseasonal temperatures. I had to grab a sweater before AUGUST.

I have been told that if you don't make the market around opening time, the offerings are a little picked over, so my friend picked me up a little after eight. We got coffee first and then walked the block-or-two it takes to get from mid-Franklin St. to the rows of simple, white tents. There was a breeze blowing slightly enough to make the warm cup in my hands enjoyable and to remind me that Autumn is up next.

Fruit was on my mind, but you have to understand how difficult it is to stay focussed once you're faced with the cartons and baskets all color filled and sensually ripe. Naturally, I couldn't help myself from scooping up some purple hull peas, and heirloom tomatoes, and local eggs (in addition to the peaches that I had anticipated taking home).

Unrelated--I'm thinking about leaving this space. So many people that I know and love have been invited here when my life made a lot more sense and while their support is appreciated, I have found that their viewing pleasure causes me to be significantly less candid than I used to be. And now it almost feels like a silent gridlock; I am afraid to open myself. I need a little corner where I can feel comfortable again, so it seems that the Lonely Sound might be coming to a close in order for other possibilities to flourish in its place. Sometimes it's necessary to trim back branches for new growth. It kind of feels like I would be abandoning two years of I'll keep you posted. No rash decisions today, just thinking.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's needless to explain that I haven't been much for blogging...for a while. Since The Staff Sergeant returned, I have fallen more deeply in love with cooking for the 567,436th time in my adult life, and that has taken up more of my creative time than I would like to admit. It's probably my truest north but like everything else that I love deeply, my passion for it ebbs and flows like the tide. Since my sudden infatuation for growing fresh veggies in the spring, my interest in seasonal and organic cooking has grown exponentially. Here are a few of my latest cookbook recommendations. Despite a large library of others, these have found homes all over my house in easy to reach stacks. Their luscious photos are like food porn--really.

Monday, August 10, 2009

No taste for words

I chose the kitchen because I was hoping that its inspiration would caress something more thought provoking than the itch to bake peach muffins. They have now been made the reward for writing the story I must write today regardless of how dry my well of creativity may be, and it's dry--buckling, cracking-earth dry.

I don't ever feel like writing anymore, save the grocery lists that are composed according the the tastes that I wake up craving. There is ample inspiration fueling the homemaker in me but I can't earn a grade in a creative writing independent study based on the texture of tonight's ginger chicken with baked potatoes and fried green tomato towers (with feta and pesto sandwiched between slices, all stacked amid a mote of marinara sauce). And so it has recently occurred to me that maybe what I want to write about is food, or maybe it has occurred to me that what I want to do is make [food] and write...sometimes.

Every now and then I tell someone that I would love to open a bakery, only half believing the words myself. Yesterday morning the sun nudged us awake and hung over and head-cold-y I dreamed of bright-flavored berry muffins with lemoniness of an unknown origin. And as the day went on and I read of chocolatiers and couldn't get that Cake Love citrus bunt cake recipe out of my head for yet another consecutive day running, I didn't need to speak them. A vision appeared out of the dusty cyclone that is my future plan at the moment--turquoise walls and sunny yellow accents, muffins and homemade artisan loaves clustered on shelves and in pastry cases, vintage plates and tea pots and old tables salvaged from the roughs of flea markets. It makes a lot more sense to me than trying to write this paper right now, and it's all that I can do to stay planted in this kitchen chair as the peaches call to me from their crate, rotting by the second, desperate to be saved by the miracle of muffins. But still, I have to compose some pages on how I am different from a time before, or how a time changed me.

Who wouldn't have something to say to that prompt? I've lived 25 years and when I ponder the right tale, the right season of growth, I remain empty and flat. This writers block is the season at hand and if I knew how to send it elsewhere, I absolutely would.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

things afoot in these parts

His banner, complements of Etsy

His homemade, chocolate-with-strawberries cake

And a mad canning phenomenon
(banana nut bread, balsamic pickled peaches, and classic dill pickled cucumbers)