Saturday, December 29, 2012

Kissing the Fat

From Thanksgiving until New Year's I don't eat as healthy as I'd like. I wish my intentions to not have white sugar and white flour in the cupboard handy to bake with, were sustainable. I indulge because the rituals of baking for the holidays overcomes my desire to be healthy. It's an emotional thing. Nothing rational about it. I love making and baking the traditional goodies we grew up with. It makes our home homier. It also makes me gain weight. I cease to be diligent and on purpose. Or care about my health.

Around New Year's I start feeling seriously obese. An unfixable failure. Appalled to look in the mirror.

The spiral happens. The grosser I feel, the more self loathing happens, I think it doesn't matter if I have one more ____.

If you've never had a weight problem, you might not understand. I beg your compassion anyways.

What happens is that the more bloated I feel, the less I want to be active. The more unwell I feel, the more lethargic my mind becomes. Desire for anything becomes inactive. I start to hibernate emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically. Metabolism shuts almost all the way off.

The bottom line is that I finally don't care if my hair is greasy a few days longer, or there are a few days in between showers. And the spiral continues, gaining fuel and momentum, a deadly ennui.

The worst part is that I stop feeling attractive or desirable to my lover. The distaste that I feel for myself, I project onto him, falsely. I don't want him,  nor do I want him to want me  - because of my fat uglies. It makes no sense because the history we both have with weight issues should remind me we've loved each through thick and thin. I forget.

Maybe it was the extra doses of vitamin D? Or the special light Loverby got me for Christmas? We sit in front of it for thirty minutes a day while we read something together. It must be restoring my equilibrium. I wanted him. I wanted him to want me.

Dr. Kevin Lehman's famous quote about how "you can't make good sheet music if showers aren't taken first" echoed in my mind. I cleaned up. Shaved. Moisturized. Washed my hair. Perfumed. Wanted to wash the bed clothes. Felt a little dangerous. Enticing. Flirtatious. Shy. Shameless.

Our marriage bed is a safe place. The safest.

I could say that this is figurative so as not to shock you, which it could be, but I would be lying: Loverby kisses my fat, the parts that feel ugly. The parts that make me want to hide and be ashamed. 

It makes me beautiful. Again. And the more beautiful and loved I feel, the more I want to be active and creative. The more desirable I feel, the more desire I have - for everything. The more care is shown me the more care I want to take of myself. But, it is essential that I don't hide from this wondrous, life giving love.

The opposite of bad isn't good. It's loved. 

Beloved, let us love one another. What if we in essence, on a regular basis, kissed each other's fat? 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Shooting Onions

Pot roasts need onions. Onions need carrots. 
Carrots need potatoes. Potatoes need salt. 
Onion skin doesn't need to be lacy, 
delicate, and glistening red. 

I need to stop and study this. 
So after I wipe my hands on
 a towel, I trade the knife 
for a camera. 

Shooting wonder when it happens 
doesn't hurt anyone. There aren't any laws
 against it. There are no arguments or
 shouting about who's on 
the right side of the situation.

 Frame it. Hang it. Publish it. 
 Don't let anyone take this moment away. 
Shoot first, click fast, and never surrender 
or give up your right to carry 

a camera. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ritual Intervention

Thrifting yesterday, I 
wanted to bring home 
an orphaned shoe polishing
valet box. Inside was a brush
worn out along side rusty Kiwi 
cans, black and brown.

I didn't have courage enough
to twist the tiny brass clasp. 
What if the polish was cracked 
and dried up when I 
opened the lid? 

It turned out to be Pandora's 
box because scents activated
tearful memories of dad's 
nightly shoe shine ritual.
This military standard shoe 
polishing ritual takes up 
serious space in the slide 
carousel always twirling 
around upstairs. It took
determination to leave it
on the shelf. I don't need it
taking up room on mine. 

But now I need to find a
way to make sense of living
in a world where we throw 
our shoes away before 
polishing them. So, 

I stand a warm boiled
egg sturdy and upright 
in an egg cup like grandma
used to do. I tap, tap, tap, 
around the shell's cap,
without her finesse. Rituals
have to be practiced, refined 
over time. Her first egg too, 
was probably a mess.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

53 Aprons Project

I am going to try to make fifty three aprons and send them out this year starting in January. It is quite a commitment. I really want to accomplish this...averaging one a week. Besides, I'll be 53 in 2013.

I use laundered reclaimed material from thrift stores. Today I tried my first one with this  bohemian/artsy/poet/gardener/gypsy wrap pattern.

Aprons have a symbolic meaning to me. I believe the ordinary, mundane, and simple things in life are the most important. Invisible to the world at large. Aprons are the icon that symbolize hospitality to me. A hospitality of both the heart and home.

I think hospitality is the highest form of communing with others. Breaking bread together. Sitting in the garden or on the porch swing together. Playing table games together. Cooking together. Chatting by the mailbox with a neighbor. Taking a sick friend a hot pot of soup. Dinner gatherings talking late and lingering long.

Their are women who regularly wear out their aprons. They are that generous. That loving. That creative. Will there still be a neighbor lady around for our grandkids? 

I want to whet your appetite to wear out an apron. Plant a seed this spring. Get your old crusty water color set out and get messy. Try a new recipe. Take your neighbor a pie. Invite some friends over.

Or, do you live like this already? Have you worn out your apron? Do you need a new one?

I will send an apron to you this year if you want one. 53 of you may ask. Send me your address if I don't already have it. There won't be any duplicates or special orders.

Nancy's birthday is Friday. She's the epitome of hospitable. The first sample goes to her.

Hexagon Paper Quilt

Thread, clippers, hexogon stack, paper hexagon templates, and a needle fit inside my beaded pocket clutch. It comes on the plane in my carry-on. I finish a few motifs each time I'm away from home. 

I just pressed all the finished ones. In one year I have done twenty four. I'm enjoying the process. Starting the first one was the main thing. I've always had a quilt on my bucket list.

 I've enjoyed it so much, I hope to do one for each of my daughters. I hope they wear it out during their lifetime. I hope by the time their children are adults it is threadbare. 

The type of quilt is called an english paper quilt. It works while traveling because you hand sew/piece each shape. Easy to take a long. Satisfying therapy. Free. 

Once all the motifs are sewn together in one quilt top, you iron it crisp, then take out all the basting and paper. I'm finding that the paper technique gives the corners a crisp finish I've never easily accomplished with a sewing machine seam technique. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Crust and Crumb

The thicker the carmelized, blistered

 crust is, the more it protects

 the tender crumb.

 It stays tender and moist inside 

until this seal is broken. Break it open

 with only your hands, so its cellular

 reputation stays intact.  Cutting it 

with a knife simply will not do. 

I confess, I'm a bread snob. People who cut bread should be hung, shot, or guillotined. No mercy. No amnesty. No trial. No jury. 

Making bread from my treasured sourdough starter brings much sensual pleasure. Oh, if only we could break bread together you and I.