Christmas Cooking…

 

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First I scrub the small round red potatoes

let them sit in a colander

Christmas card messages

dancing in my head

melt butter

slice in onions, cook until glassy

slightly browned

why

does he say he misses

my smiling face

when he is the one who

forfeited my smiles?

Slice and layer the potatoes

seasoned white sauce

grated aged cheeses

snip fresh herbs atop

ignore the texts

for the time being

from another who is intriguing

but too persistent

too everywhere

and inconsistent

when I need

reliable and

my own time sometimes

to make potatoes au gratin

on the way to Christmas

as busy-ness intersperses with loneliness

as children come and go

we dash

to gatherings, parties, dinners

then I regroup to contemplate

my myriad fates

while singing to myself

Auld Lang Syne

the potatoes smell divine

I take them out early

anyway

to finish baking

Christmas day.

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Hello dear friend.

I hope good things

come your way.

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~ Lily

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Update, Part II

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When last we left our heroine, she was at a party,

underdressed for the occasion, but happy.

She met many fascinating people.

She met a man

who asked her out

and

he was charming, funny

great smile

and

they subsequently went out several times,

first just to a cafe’ to talk, then to dine, then to walk and eat and laugh, then to a film…

And now our heroine is pinching herself–isn’t life Weird?? Yes. With a capital W. It is sweet to date, it is cheering to have company and to get considerate little text messages throughout the day. She’s not sure… about him, but partly because she is not sure about herself. What is she looking for? How can she know if he fits without knowing the answer to that question? It seems that most people know what they want when they find what feels right, what seems comfortable. Yes, it seems comfortable though still a bit in discovery mode. That, and also it is a bit challenging because the heroine finds herself with a brainy guy, maybe a bit complex, maybe holding his cards a bit closer than she is used to. Of course, she is an emotional and sensitive being and she is communicative, in her own understated cheery way. She knows she can’t expect him to be quite the same . Part of growing is realizing how human each of us is, how imperfect no matter how hard we try. So, taking it easy, trying to calmly observe and for the present to accept this gift of companionship and potential love; those are the orders of the day.

Even if it doesn’t last, it’s good now. If it does last, it had a good beginning.

Stay tuned.

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Update.

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One

and the days are so busy

the nights are so long

dark lonely

quiet

but when I wake

there is morning

warmth

morning light

filtered through white curtains

shadows dashed

hopes resurrected

one

day

at a time.

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It is a wet grey day today, but somehow the gleaming dark wash of the street and the stalwart bare trees seem fresh and reassuring. It just goes to show that perspective makes the difference between dreary and cleansed, sometimes. And, as I am an anachronistic Romantic of sorts, this day and this weather reflect my mood. I could be dreary, but I am not. I could sink into the greyness, but I don’t. I feel the wash of the rain, I feel the rinse of the old and the dust, and the chance for something new.

I spent part of Thanksgiving with friends and loved ones, but part of it was necessarily solitary. I needed to be Thankful in my own way, away from the gatherings and feasting, and away from the shopping crowds converging upon the big-box stores like ants towards a bit of fallen fruit.

I went to a park where families and couples were walking, pushing strollers, biking alongside helmet-heavy young riders, or running or rollerblading in black spandex. Pausing to watch and smile at these passersby every so often, I read. I read a book, cover to cover.

Sometimes I choose to read historical or non-fiction books for learning and information.  Other times I read classics and fiction in order to go away, to vacation through the eyes and experiences and thoughts of the author whom I’ll never even meet. I’ve done that literary traveling for as long as I can remember. The challenge is to find a very good book. Its pleasure for me is escapist but also the satisfaction serves as a base for viewing the world, my world in relation to the world out there. It ‘evens’ me, if that makes sense. My far flung and wide-ranging artistic emotions settle down as my world-view stretches. It’s as if I gently allow more of the world in, and that calms me.

When I am feeling as calm and at peace as a restless soul can feel, I tend also toward grateful and prayerful. When I pray, it is to an always-present supreme being who knows me, but I don’t know Him (?) as well, or perhaps not as well as I should, or so it seems to me. I feel held, but as if in a fog or expanse of universal space, as if outer space and the whole of the universe is pulled close, but as a feeling inside. Imagine there is an invisible blanket– soft, warm and cozy. I pull it as tight as I need it and feel comforted. Alright, I’m sure I’m weird and I’m sure most of you know this by now, so let’s just move along…

I re-centered myself, that is the main thing. I thought: “Yes, you feel alone sometimes but you’re not really alone. You’re not sure of exactly what to do, but you know you’re gaining strength and re-harnessing creativity; you are becoming. You are becoming more your true self.  Maybe that is preparation for something, or maybe it simply is as it is meant to be.”

With that “Onward” attitude in hand, I met a friend after work and we laughed and talked as the time zipped by.  Coincidentally, I was invited to a party that evening near where my friend and I were meeting. When she went home to her husband and children, I went back and forth in my mind over whether or not to stop into the party. I hadn’t planned to go as there would be many people and I wouldn’t know them. I am reserved as you would expect, at least at first, but I do love meeting people and hearing little bits about their lives. Once I decide to attend anything I summon my confidence (a remnant from my youth) and have a good time.

I hadn’t been home since early morning but driving all the way home and back to change clothes would take too much time, I’d be too late. The unfortunate side of that is that I wouldn’t be able to change into something dressier or to do my hair or makeup for the party.  I would therefore look like someone who had ambled in after a long day, not someone who had primped to be fresh and festive. But, I do wear a smile well. I had that, anyway.

I also had my re-adjusted attitude. I felt content and I wasn’t looking or yearning for anyone or anything. I felt like I was fortunate to be able to go where I pleased, to smile and exchange a few kind words with other souls on this earth.

I felt good, and happy.

My gumption and I went to the party.

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I hope all is likewise fine in your life. How are you faring, these busy days?

~ Lily

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