Monday, February 15, 2010

A bullet dodged

I don't think there's really all that much snowing going on out there. I can't tell TOO much, since I sort of live in the basement of my rowhouse (I know that sounds weird to say that I "sort of" do, but ...well, you have to just see it.) Anyway, I can't see out the windows incredibly easily but the temp is still one degree above freezing and the rest of this week is going to be sunny and in the upper 40's, which will feel like the damn tropics around here, let me tell you.

I'm hoping for some sunny skies for my heart too. I've been in the deep dark place where I can see the good things--can pick them up and turn them over in my hand, but can't feel them. My sister said on her Facebook status tonight about how much she loves snow because it's "God's way of making the world slow down."

I totally get that, but my life really didn't need time for me to slow down and reflect. I reflect on it during every single step I take, and I was forced to slow down just when I needed to speed up. I hate to sound like I'm over-blowing this whole snow thing, but this city was brought to its knees and we're just barely starting to get up. Let's just say, I can't imagine NOT wearing my snowboots until about March.

Groceries aren't delivering until March, although I did find a new place and just placed a new stock-up order to be delivered next Monday. Which is really good because my supply is starting to run low (really didn't anticipate on eating everything in my house in two weeks time) and the little shops around here are too expensive to stock up on the basics.  And starting next Tuesday, I'll have houseguests and/or visitors for the next two solid weeks as various friends and family come in and out. 

It was weekends like I just had when I missed having my car. BUT -I heard the parking lots were icy messes and filled with potholes anyway so maybe it was all a blessing in disguise.

Remember those red potatoes? I sliced them up, sliced up half an onion with them, made a glaze of olive oil, garlic salt, pepper, paprika and random other stuff, drizzled it over them and baked them for 45 minutes and I can't believe how good they turned out. This whole 'teaching myself to cook by the Internet and my blog friends' thing is really working out well :) I made t-bone steaks that my Dad sent with me by cooler when I first moved here (we have cattle at home, and stock meat, and so I"m lucky to have a little stock of beef in my freezer). Anyway, I've never made steak in my whole life, but I made a seasoning of pepper, onion and garlic and broiled it up, and YUM.

I'm learning.

I watched a documentary tonight "The Gods Grew Tired of Us" and I highly recommend it. It is based on the same story of "What is the What?" which I read last year. Basically, it's about the Sudanese Lost Boys from the late 1980's and followed some of them as they journeyed to American as young men, having never seen electricity and eating butter and mayonnaise on the plane because it was food that was set in front of them so they ate it.  They were unimpressed with American food :)

They kept talking about how they'd lost their families, and they'd formed families in their refugee camps as young boys and they were the lucky chosen few who could come to America to work.  They sent home every dollar they had, and talked about their deep sense of obligation to succeed since they were so lucky to have been able to leave.  They kept saying how hard it all was, how hard they worked, how lonely they were--but they never, ever told that to the people they left behind.

I know the situations are absolutely not at all the same, but I could relate in a tiny bit to that pressure for success because you "got out" and that admitting you are ever unhappy, lonely or less than perfect can seem like a feeling of failure.  I know I experience that from time to time, as I've talked about many times in this space.  Everybody's so proud of me...they say...and I don't want to let them down by not loving every second.  It may be self-imposed pressure, but it's pressure nonetheless. 

But watching that reminded me yet again that I am blessed beyond measure and sometimes it isn't good because it makes me want to give all my money away, or adopt ten orphans.  Or both.  And one day, maybe I'll do just that.

I also watched "Temple Grandin" on HBO over the weekend and it touched me deeply. I really can't explain why....but I recommend this too, and especially if you have ever been around a child with autism or other kind of special needs.

Near the of the movie, Temple goes through a set of automatic doors with the help of a stranger (she was terrified of them) and the stranger turns out to be someone who changes her entire life.

She exclaimed "A door opened and I walked through it!" It was such a relieved and happy  moment that I actually teared up.  Because I knew that sense of elation and anticipation.

A door opened for me too, and I walked through it.

I can't wait to keep watching what happens.


Allegra Smith said...

Your life will change, as it often happens when we walk through a door that opens for us.

Be warm, cooking is really a fun thing to do if you want to make it fun. Baking can be too. When I was teaching young chefs I used to say that cooking is alchemy but baking is chemistry. The difference is that in cooking the heart guides the hand and with baking it is better if the head does.

I hope the weather changes into a Spring like one soon and that the door stays open to all opportunities you may want to take.

Ms. Moon said...

That was a beautiful post and I love what Allegra said. All of it, is of course, true. The potatoes sound amazing. Really- if one starts with good ingredients and doesn't fuck them up with craziness, the food will be good. That's my opinion.
I'm so glad that doors are opening. I'm so glad you notice when they do.
Enjoy your tropical weather.

Bethany said...

Oh SJ, I LOVE this writing.
You're amazing. Of course it's okay to feel scared and stuck. I know just what you mean aobut not needing to slow down but to speed up just then?
I love your movie reviews and the last bit about the door. Gave me goosebumps. Keep walking dear.

Bethany said...

Oh and that's wonderful about the cooking. I'm impressed!!!!

Angie Muresan said...

I don't know how I missed this post. You have such an authentic voice, SJ. Love what you wrote and love what Allegra said.