I will reach down to the bottom shelf and grab a set of unmatched bowls that find a way to nest inside each other even though they technically don’t belong together. I will grab the one that seems best for the occasion. The large red one works well for a double batch of granola or the slightly smaller stainless steel bowl with a padded bottom is perfect for the whisk I use when I stir up some banana bread. The smallest bowl, a cheap plastic number, is for scrambling eggs. It doesn’t matter because sometimes just the act of reaching for a bowl is exactly what I need for my jostled and stirred-up emotions, when the mashed and mixed-up and battered parts of me cannot find a way to settle.
Next comes the meditation. Crack the egg, measure the flour. Needing more more time, I might even sift it. Stir. Gently, vigorously, not too long, or forever. It just depends on what the occasion calls for right? But no matter...the meditation happens through each step. Hide my phone, look at a recipe card, follow the instructions. Pour, measure, look out my kitchen window, sing to the cat who is watching from his perch, chop, stir, promise the dog a nibble when it’s done, and appreciate that I have an audience who really wants nothing from me but this...my presence.
It’s mixed up, messed up, and sometimes I want to give up. Sometimes I can get really mad about feeding people. Didn't I just do this? You are hungry again? I am mad AND grateful I have people to feed and the ability to feed them. It’s mixed up because sometimes it is the act of mixing that returns me to myself. Deeper breathing and an assurance that when I do this one thing another different thing will happen. Time and the right ingredients will create some sort of chemical reaction that adds up to making food and there is physical proof of my efforts. Except, and here's the messed up part, it’s not about the product. It’s another mixed up thing- it’s about the show I am putting on for myself. The doing this first and then that and having to pay attention so as not to screw it up. Sometimes I do screw it up but the process has already worked it's magic and I don’t even care (too much) if I’ve screwed up. I still sing and I pretend the cat is amused.The dog will eat anything, and the mess isn’t really a mess but a meditation that started when I reached for the bowl.