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Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Monday, December 19, 2005

Pork stew with dried apricots and prunes only with chicken instead of pork


I got the new Saveur this weekend and was enticed by just about everything in it. Saturday we enjoyed the Basque bean stew. It was amazingly easy to make and so flavorful for such a simple dish. Today I made the Russian pork stew, substituting chicken thighs for pork shoulder (for complex Coop-related reasons). It was a rich, meat-falling-apart, fruit-falling-apart stew. I never thought I'd actually say the words "these prunes are delicious." I'm not going to transcribe the recipes here because I'd like to encourage you to buy the magazine. Go on, it's worth it!

Alas, yesterday's naughty post caught my mother's eye and made her think for one blessed moment that I was being thoughtful and reflective at this holiday season. Come to think of it, having a reflective moment sounds like an awfully nice idea. Luxurious, even.

So I stole a reflective moment as I put Jasper to bed tonight. Just about every parent will tell you they love their children most when the little monsters are sleeping. I looked at my slumbering boy and my heart did that squeeze it always does when I slow down and really look at him. And I arrived at the usual realization, that having a child has forced me into the physical, quotidian, temporal world. I've got my hands in the earth, up to my elbows, and I'm existing from moment to moment, rarely looking backward or forward.

This is new for me. In my former life I was thoughtful and reflective. There was a time when I would stare out from Roosevelt Island at the PepsiCola sign across the river in Queens and have to run home and write a poem. I was the girl who was late to class because she got caught up contemplating how French Feminist theory, language, and the physical body intersected, if at all. And I was the consummate antinomian, certain that God knew who I was and was paying close attention.

Now I'm an agnostic chasing a two-year-old. I've put God to aside in order to care for my son. It's not the approach most women who grow up Mormon take. But it feels right to me. Sure, I was going agnostic before Jasper. But I was still trying to make some sort of belief work. Since Jasper I've been more closely attuned to the splendor of daily life. And its so much more magical, powerful, and meaningful because I can touch it. Finally, from a faith that was always more about the desire for faith, always intangible, just out of reach, I have arrived at something that shapes everything I do, everything I smell and taste, that has everything to do with my body and the space that it fills and the two people I live with and caress daily.

This Christmas I'm not thinking about a deity who saves all of mankind. I'm thinking about every woman who has ever held a child. I am thinking about now.

1 comment:

Mary Ellen said...

This post blew me away--in the best want-to-be-like-you-when-I-grow-up-and-someday-become-a-mom kind of way. As much as I've studied theology and found it fascinating, I prefer your agnostic, magical, madonna & child & loved ones approach hands down.