adventure · community · cooking · joy · performance · self-care

Italian Hot and Sweet

First of all, thank you for the outpouring of love which
you’ve sent me over the last 24 hours. I am grateful for your love and care.
I took yesterday off from work at the suggestion of the
receptionist, whom I called to say I was running late and was dragging a bit as
my grandmother had passed away, and she asked, Why are you coming in? Stay
home. And I said, well, I have those projects I want to finish so maybe I don’t
have to come in next week, and I’ll be in as soon as possible.
After about another 10 minutes of semi-aimlessness, I called
back and said, you know what, I’m going to take your suggestion and not come in
today – I’ll be in on Monday. And, so I will. I do have one project, not to
finish, since it’s epic, but to show her how to do, to pass the torch, and once
I do that, complete that task, I will be done there. I say with a finality that
allows for change 😉 But, I am feeling so over it. Sure, lots of people feel
“over” their jobs, but I have the opportunity and the freedom to make a change,
and so, I will make it. Before I get too resentful, too late, and burn a bridge
I may need some day.
One of my options for alternative income will be approved or
denied on Sunday. I’m auditioning for the live modeling guild in the Bay Area,
and they pay well. Like I’ve said before, they also require “motorized
transportation,” but I’m not all too worried about that. I have a feeling
things are in the works around me and a car. First of all, because I reached
out for help around finding one, and second because I have the support system
of my financial folks to help me really piece together the amount I can spend –
although I haven’t sat down with them yet, I let two people know that I would
be reaching out to do so.
Today is my audition for a musical theater company, and true
to my Serenity Moth, I haven’t practiced whatsoever. I have the music for one
of the two songs I’ll sing, but am still not sure what my second one will be.
And, I wish I’d practiced. Duh.
It’s “funny.” I had done my numbers in December, and had
come to the conclusion that I actually didn’t need to work these few weeks before school started, but
greed and anxiety came in, and I took the two weeks at the temp job. “Funny” is
that last week I was stupidly sick, and worked one full day. That’s it.
Then, this week, with my increasing lateness to work, and then taking off
yesterday, I haven’t worked a full week anyway. It’s like the Universe saying, See, darling, sometimes things will end up the way they’re supposed to
anyway – and you would have been better off not fighting it.
Yesterday, I did meet up with a friend for tea, and we spoke
poetry, and school, and artistic integrity and honesty. And it was just nice to
sit in the middle of the day drinking a hot beverage with a beloved friend. I
wish I’d allowed myself the last two weeks to do that. But, c’est la vie.
Perhaps lesson learned.
Afterward, I took a walk up over the border between Oakland and
Piedmont (aka the rich section), and went up to my favorite tree swing. There
are a number of swings in the streets up there, hanging from the trees closest
to the sidewalk and street, and although when I first began to sit on them last
year, I felt self-conscious, like these were someone else’s and I shouldn’t be
on them – I’ve gotten over it 😉 And I sat for a while on my favorite swing,
swinging intermittently and letting myself oscillate back to center – which
sort of feels like a metaphor for yesterday.
The later afternoon I spent on my couch in the dwindling
sunshine reading Eat Pray Love, a book
I’ve read before, and which seemed exactly the book I felt like reading. And
perhaps influenced by the first section when the author is in Italy, and
influenced by her self questioning (What would
you, self, like to do?), in the evening, I asked myself
I wanted to eat. Nothing on
the commercial strip seemed like what I wanted, so I decided to go to the
grocery market, and just see what appealed and cook something. I had a vague
idea about a pasta dish I’ve made before (also likely influenced by the “food porn”
section of the book) but they didn’t have fresh basil (it’s not at all
basil season at the moment), so I started to pick up random vegetables that
spoke to me.
This blog perhaps is longer than I intended, but a long time
ago in a galaxy far away, I was a 19 year old suburban college student in the
summer between sophomore and junior year, and I was blazingly in love with an
Italian-American. Blazingly – burn hot, burn quick. He, of the red growling IROC
camaro, yes, really, and against-stereotype dredlocks, was a chef. (Well, at the
moment, he worked at a pizza shop, but…)
One evening, he and I were in the kitchen of my house and he
decided to cook up dinner. He began to do the most amazing thing. Something I
had never ever seen before. He started to randomly take items, vegetables, meat, out
of the refrigerator and prepare them for the pot. How do you know what to
put in??
I squealed. Without a
I was shocked. I had never seen someone cook in this way
before – without a recipe. He replied, I just know what I like, so I throw it in.
It was so novel. It perhaps sounds ridiculous to you, but at
that moment, my entire world of cooking and food was cracked wide open – and
beyond that, my ideas of rules, freedom, joy, frivolity, experimentation were
cracked open as well. It was a pinnacle moment for me. And each time I just
begin to “throw stuff in,” I still get a thrill of adventure.
So, when, yesterday, I was in the grocery store, and had to
abandon my very specific basil recipe, I found myself creating something
entirely new. Would it work? Who cares – I want to try. So, with a basket
filled with locally-made pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, Italian sausage –
hot and sweet, a log of mozzarella, stalks of asparagus-thin broccoli, and a few sweet red peppers,
I headed home to the healing power of food, creation, adventure, and self-care.
P.S. it was marvelous! – but next time, ix-nay on the
capers 😉

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