Necessities

Coffee

Sunshine

Sweets

A kitty

Books

A patch of dirt

A kitchen, no matter how rustic

A place to call home

Pork

Bookish

Last night, the television sat mute.  I curled up with steaming Earl Grey and handcrafted cookies, reading until my eyes drooped closed.

I’ve joined a book club.  We’re reading Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.  The first few pages brought to mind ersatz Thoreau, but as I ventured a little further, I realized that Dillard isn’t copying Walden, but using the Walden experience to make it her own. Her writing is both lush and raw – describing the beautiful and the horrific.

I’m not alone

This is what I wrote on June 5 .

This is what I came across last night:

“The downside of measuring by hand is what happens to the hands. At the end of an evening, your fingertips are irretrievably stained with some very heady aromatics, and there’s nothing you can do to eliminate them. You wash your hands. You soak them, You shower, you scrub them again. The next day, they still stink of onion, garlic and pork fat and, convinced that everyone around you is picking up the smell, you ram them into your pockets, maniacally rubbing your fingers against each other like an obsessive-compulsive Lady Macbeth. At night, in bed, my wife and I had some tough times…ever since one of my hands flopped across her face and woke her with a revolting start.”

Heat – by Bill Buford

I guess I’m not the only one.

Obsession

My hiatus from the daily grind appears to have influenced my postings as well. The break has been renewing, but I find as my vacation nears its end, I desire again to place cyber pen to paper, but gently – not robustly, as I should expect.

I’ve been struggling this week with the definition of ‘obsession’. At what point does a healthy interest morph into obsession? What within us pulls us past ‘normal’ and into harmful fixation?

I’ve filled the hours and days of this week with food, cooking and menu planning to the point where I want to escape from all of it. Perhaps it’s merely a newly heightened interest that has me thinking too often about the culinary world – not unlike my fascination with yoga soon after I began my practice. While deciphering this new overwhelming interest, I’m struck by how it has infiltrated my life this week: I wake dreaming of chefs, restaurants and cooking, my days have been spent planning my menu and unsuccessfully (in most cases) practicing new recipes. I’ve started watching cooking shows on TV. As the proverbial cherry-on-top, I’m reading a book about the secret world of a restaurant kitchen, falling asleep with thoughts of the culinary world as well. Enough already! Where’s the healthy balance I strive for?

Books on a Rainy Day

It’s raining and I’m sipping Good Earth tea.  It’s been raining all day and rained all night as well.  I’m officially a poor student of yoga.  I practiced last night and found my muscles have become astonishingly weak.  I hurt myself and cannot practice tonight.  I’m determined to be diligent in my practice again.  Without yoga, I will be home earlier tonight.  I long for a fire in the fireplace, but my wood is now wet – very, very wet.  I set it out before I left for New York in hopes that it would dry a bit in the sun – now it’s swollen by rain.

 

I think I’ll curl up and read tonight.  I’m starting a new book, 2666 by Roberto Bolano. If you could make me read any book, which one would you have me read?