I mentioned on the first post that N gave me a bread cookbook for my birthday this year. Tonight, as I was looking for pizza dough recipes (see photos for images of said pizza), I came across this poem at the beginning of the book. It seems to sum up perfectly so many things...
Working in the Kitchen
Edward Espe Brown
What is it, closer than close?
Not impervious or distant, not
stiff or unresponsive. A get-down-
in-the-mud mind, a root-around-
in-the-weeds mind: Food comes
alive with your presence, reaching
out, laboring, taking the time
for flour, salt, water, yeast
to come together, for a bowl
that breaks, the dirty dishes,
a leaky faucet, always more
to cooking that meets the eye!
Each thing asking to be seen, heard,
known, loved, a companion in the dark.
"Take care of the food," it is said,
"as though it was your own eyesight,"
not saying, oh that's all right, we
have plenty, we can throw that away.
Table, teapot, measuring cups, spoons:
the body within the body, the place
where everything connects.
Ripe, succulent fruit, leaves, stems,
roots, seeds: the innermost mind
awakening, fully manifesting. What
are you up to, after all? What is
a way of life that is satisfying,
fulfilling, sustaining and sustainable?
Cups, glasses, sponges, one
body with a hundred faces,
a sticky honey jar, the half-
empty cup of coffee, each asking
to fulfill, each offering the touch
of the beloved.
Enter, plunge into the heart
if the matter: an unknown destination,
an unknown adventure unfolding
with your wits about you and your
no-so-wits. Things emerging in life,
Life emerging in things, no separation.
Concentrating on food, concentrating on
myself, with heart opening, hands offering,
may everything be deliciously full
of warmth and kindness.
Coming from the earth, coming from the air,
a cool breeze, a spark, a flame, go ahead:
cook, offer yourself, hold nothing back.
Cooking is not like you expected, not like
you anticipated. What is happening is unheard
of, never before experienced. You cook. No mistakes.
You might do it differently next time, but
you did it this way this time. Things
are as they are, even if you say too much this
too little that. And if you want things to stay
the same, remind yourself they have no unchanging nature.
"Wherever you go, remember, there you are." O.K.?
Go ahead. Keep moving. Watch your step.
Turns out there was no pizza dough recipe in this book, but it was hard not to find this as that much better. I did find a handful of recipes for pizza dough, though!
At one point tonight we looked up and realized it is the first of December. Other than the odd notion that it is now somehow December, we realized tomorrow is our anniversary. Three years ago tomorrow I asked N out on a date, scheduled a year in the future. We were living three states apart, and with a lifetime of history we began to move a bit closer to merging our lives together. I am amazed time and again how quickly that time has flown. While we decided a few weeks ago not to do any gifts for our anniversary, I did ask for one thing. And, after taking the dog out to pee, N happily obliged; we shared a dance in the living room. Happy Anniversary...