August – skipped writing
September – skipped writing
October – skipped writing
skipped writing: a note to myself, to stay connected.
I’ve been giving here this writing a wide berth – wye draaie geloop. I write the words skipped writing as a reminder – a note to myself, to stay connected, and to keep the relationship. A superficial part of the self condemns the blank dates, hisses failure, and splatters shame. The note to myself is a conscious call from deep – calling me to awareness (i have not written anything in 3 months) and calling me to action (i’m writing now). And how wonderworking the life that arises from this deep otherness being – it is as if I’ve not missed a moment of writing.
Always we begin again: it must be true.
Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.
~ Lin Yutang
For a to do list-person preferring to live a planned and organized life it is easy to “just doe the nexte thynge.” Except that this January’s life is struggling to doe the nexte thynge – its planned and organized life listlessly waits – for execution?
‘T was that the life of each January day bore and dropped a package – carefully chosen, wrapped and entrusted. Some say the packages are gifts – except I am not yet fully perceptive – for most January days the packages withheld themselves as offerings – offerings charged with the uncharted – waiting to be explored, accepted, and lived.
This post is the first step in opening and sharing some of this January’s packages.
From an old English parsonage down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message to me;
It’s quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
Hath, it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And on through the hours the quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration: “DOE THE NEXTE THYNGE.”
A wedding happened.
…and the next thing’s doing.
Book reviews are not my strong point. If someone out there can give me a 5-pointer step-by-step how- to I will be forever thankful. Too vivid the memories of forced book reviews in high school. Condensed Reader’s Digest books came to the rescue of an English second language student… aaghhh…then I used the book jacket’s cover summary and replaced all the big words with synonyms (other big words I barely understood).
Well, this post is the final post about Frances Mayes’ A Year in the World. A book in which the voice in my head became Frances’ : her thoughts, feelings, and so(me) many times her unspoken words. Her chapter about the Island of Crete was a summary of a recent holiday we had in Crete: staying close to Chania, the timelessness of Rethmynos, women in black sitting in doorways, memorials to the dead alongside the roads, driving on the wrong side of a narrow road, the decible levels of Greek cicadas, and St Paul’s lazy Cretans…memories…
her last chapter The Riddle of Home…
the real answer is home, the real answer is beauty…home where everything connects…you go out, far out, and when you return, you have the power to transform your life. Roads always lead to Rome/home…when I finish my travels, I will solve the riddle of home; when I finish my travels, I will know the answer…then I will…
for old-fashioned me: home is where the heart is…
What is your association with Portugal? It is sad to say (but the truth) that my first thought was: “the Portuguese with his cornershop.” A bare thought or barely a thought, I admit.
Frances Mayes takes the reader through some places in Portugal, allowing the reader to feel, hear, see, taste, and sense – mystery, music that rips out of the heart, a child weaving, the prato do dia – a longing for Portugal, the necessity of traveling.
The Food of Spain and Portugal (a gift from a friend) awaits patiently its turn in our kitchen. Pasteis de Nata, originally known as Pasteis de Belem, is a favourite in our house.
Bill Granger has a great recipe for these little custard tarts, or rather Pasteis de Nata. I wrote the recipe down watching one of his food shows, but here and here are two recipes. I hope you enjoy making them and eating them! Let me know!
Frances Mayes’ Journeys of a Passionate Traveller might take longer to read than I anticipated. Traversing a couple of paces down chapter one’s lane forced me to an early pit stop. The writing invited me to take a scenery route while reading: browse through Janson’s A History of Art, read literature and poetry, cook dishes, and listen to music. Why not? Why the hurry to finish a book?
Well, I’m still in chapter one: visiting Andalucia in Spain. I’ve dusted Janson and feasted my eyes on the paintings of Velazquez and Zurbaran. I’ve cooked a Spanish stew – Cocido Madrileno. I’ve read some of Federico Garcia Lorca’s poems – his poetry inspired the music of Leonard Cohen (Cohen named his daughter Lorca).
Ditty of First Desire
In the green morning
I wanted to be a heart.
And in the ripe evening
I wanted to be a nightingale.
turn the color of love.)
In the vivid morning
I wanted to be myself.
And at the evening’s end
I wanted to be my voice.
turn the color of love.
Federico Garcia Lorca
Next stop, on route to Portugal, will be whiled away making tapas… now I have to find good recipes… any ideas?
No, I don’t have this view presently. I’m facing a computer screen situated in the coldest part of the house. The view is from the Tradouw’s Pass in the Klein Karoo – a pass constructed between 1869 and 1873 by masterbuilder Thomas Bain. Tradouw is a Khoisan word for “the women’s path.”
Now, I need breakfast, or is it want? I’ll make rooibos tea – already had 2 cups of coffee – and enjoy it with rye bread: just to spoil the healthy breakfast I’ll top the rye with butter and Dutch cheese.