Oh, right. We're not doing potatoes. I forgot. And I guess that's supposed to be a three-legged race, but why anybody cares how many legs there are when they're inside a potato sack I'll never know.
Do you know what today is? Yes, it's November 30, 2006. Do you know what else today is? Yes, indeed. It is the last day of that international group siege of madness known as NaBloPoMo.
I'm very excited. I was not eaten by bears.
In fact, this has been a very useful exercise for me. I have had things I've been meaning to write about and meaning to write about for over a year piling up in my head and heart. As some of you are already aware, I have another blog, too, one which I started last year but had to let dwindle and rot because I just ran out of silent space and clean energy within myself. NaBloPoMo made me commit to sitting down and crafting each of my long festering ideas into something I think is worthwhile, and it made me work through that other blog on my intellectual reflexes, too.
Okay, NaBloPoMo didn't make me do anything. My urgent desire to prove to myself that I could still make a commitment to myself and keep it, just for the sake of making a commitment to myself and keeping it, made me do everything. NaBloPoMo was just the symbol on the flag I flew while did it.
Sometimes it takes space you create for yourself, territory you mark off and choose to devote and defend even in the middle of what feels like mindlessness and emptiness, just to reboot, just to make your mind and heart work together again in reliable partnership.
At the beginning, I said I was going to use this blog and this exercise to explore who I even thought I was now. I said I was going to look for a better tag line than "past amputation, back to life." I found one. I really am past it, while also through it and in it, forever and ever, and I never did leave my life, as I have known all along. I have chosen no longer to speak of this as though I have to sell the idea of getting past it or getting through it to other people. It really is just another part of this fabric. I'm going to be focusing more on the fabric now when I write here. The motion, like wind in a sail -- or like legs in a potato sack -- will be inextricable, you'll see.
I still want to talk about the new law in Massachusetts requiring every resident to have healthcare coverage, and at the same time, I still want to sing rapturously to you of my latest stir-fry combination -- paper-thin leek circles, julienned fragrant celeriac and sweet kohlrabi, whole haricots verts, and rippled carrot coins with garlic, ginger, five-spice and juicy medallions of turkey "tenderloin" pan-seared all together in a very light glazing of toasted sesame oil -- and of the wonders of parsnips. And I will. But it won't be tomorrow.
It might not be in December.
I have talked a lot.
I am sick of the sound of my own voice.
I am sick of the pronoun "I."
I want to finish planting all my bulbs, stitching together the afghan I started when I was fresh out of the hospital but didn't yet have that commission from my friend Karen of a Christmas gift for her then-girlfriend (click above image to enlarge), and needed something to do with my hands besides eat.
I want to walk in the naked, spice-brown woods before it snows.
I want to tricycle past the bare trees now that the seizure light is back, the sun in my peripheral vision whipping through the vertical dark interruptions of their trunks, before the roads turn to ice.
I want to do things away from the computer, things that don't use words.
And I have to find a way to make a sustainable income that won't take away the partnership of my heart and mind again.
I'll be back. I will.
But not tomorrow.
I want to thank Mrs. Kennedy (even though she doesn't want us to call her that anymore) for starting this insanity, and I want to thank everyone who played and everyone who helped by contributing administratively. I want to thank all my friends and commenters old and new, members of a sweet little circle of bloggists and bloggery fans who have offered so many kind words and such interesting, thought-provoking input here and off-blog all month long and beyond. I want to thank my true love for helping and for trying to respect my space during what looked to you like a silly pastime an awful lot like phone booth stuffing or flagpole sitting but was so much more for me. Because of all of your efforts, I was not only symbolically enabled to snatch an opportunity to give myself back to myself in some surprisingly emotionally meaningful ways, but now I have lots of new and wonderful things to read elsewhere, many of which will no doubt wend their ways into the sidebar at left.
I've got nothin' for y'all but love -- oh, and this recipe for cookies I invented from scratch tonight as a parting gift to all of you, my fellow crazies. Enjoy!
NaBloPoMoNana-Pecan Thin Cookies
2 iffy looking bananas (but not quite this iffy)
2 T grade B maple syrup
1 T vanilla extract
½ C salted butter
2/3 C brown sugar
1½ C all-purpose flour
½ t sea salt
½ t baking powder
4 handfuls of pecan halves, hand-crumbled
confectioner's sugar laced lightly with cardamom and ginger for enrobing
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. In a cup, mash together bananas, syrup, and vanilla.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.
4. In a big bowl, cream butter and sugar, then blend in eggs. Blend in banana mixture. Dump the dry ingredients in and blend well. Crumble the pecans in and move around with a spatula until they are fairly evenly distributed.
5. Drop by teaspoonful onto a nonstick cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 15 minutes.
7. While they are still warm, flop them around in a cakepanful of the confectioner's sugar mixture until both sides of each are as thickly coated as possible.
8. Eat 'em up and only share them with people who have been very, very nice to you during the month of November.
Congratulations, everybody! We did it! BOO-RAH. (Oh, why not?)