Sunday, January 11, 2009
I had the first niggling feeling months ago. That uncomfortable sort of tingling sensation you get before a sneeze. You know something is on the way, you wait for it, but you’re not quite sure when it will arrive.
In my case it had to do with the idea of cooking. Anyone who knows me also knows that I’m generally not an accomplished cook. I’ve managed to raise two kids on a working knowledge of good Italian sauce, meats and pasta – but other than these ethnic staples I cannot braise a beef or poach a pear. The stories of my failures in the kitchen are legion and date back to my teens -- and I fully embrace these debacles. But lately I’ve had this FEELING that I wish I could enjoy cooking the way I enjoy reading or drawing or other things I do in my life.
For me, the first step was the awareness. Once I was consciously aware, things began to present themselves to me. It’s like noticing the color green on St. Patrick’s Day. You start to notice it everywhere.
So being aware of cooking, I started noticing cookbooks – and before long I came across two that were perfectly suited for me, and one in particular gave step-by-step instructions on really enjoying the materials you work with – in this case, the pots and pans. Now, THIS is a new concept to me, and I discussed it at length with my friend who happens to love cooking. Incredible. People actually love their pots and pans….can you imagine? These pans are special because they have superpowers. They DO special things – like caramelizing or evenly distributing heat.
So suddenly, I’m seeing cooking in a completely different way. I’m thinking about being “intentional” about what I am doing in this activity, rather than just throwing some stuff in a pot and tapping my toe until its done. (For those of you who love to cook, I KNOW you can’t relate but there must be someone out there like me who is shaking their head in agreement?.)
Anyway, my point today is that I’m learning to take each small thing I do and ask myself if I am doing it consciously and fully and in the best possible way I can – or if I am just marking time and getting it over with. Because to do that would be to trade away moments of one’s life for absolutely nothing at all.
I’ll let you know when my pots and pans arrive.