Thursday, November 08, 2007


I'm putting together a beef stew for dinner this evening. I've lit a candle, which is my reminder that I'm feeding my family more than food when I spend time cooking for them. Fosters a bit of intentionality in my mood. So, even though I don't particularly enjoy cooking, I'm careful to note smells, textures, flavors--anything that prolongs positivity in the kitchen.

I firmly believe a grumpy cook inevitably sours the food served. Oh, it may taste just fine. But if I'm cranky while cooking, and my family encounters my snit, the mood tends to rub off. Then we all come to the table with our hackles raised for no good reason. After all, this is mostly my choice, being the family cook. And, even if it wasn't, what would be the point, exactly, in fussing about it? Either do it with a good will, or don't bother.

Which is all well said, but sometimes very hard done. Sometimes, as the Dixie Chicks opined, I'm not ready to make nice. But I digress.

I like to sing along to music when cooking. Love to sing, love to pretend I do it well, love to do it in solitude so I don't have to face the reality of my less than stellar vocal cords. Singing makes even a reviled task a joy. So I deal with meat and its attendant issues and sing "Walking in Memphis". I peel potatoes and pick off Es and Fs in "Seasons of Love".

I'm not a big Martha Stewart fan. But I was quite pleased to hear that she believes burning a candle will protect me from crying while chopping onions. Since I already have a candle lit, I should be set. I hate crying, though I know it's good for me--like broccoli. I chop. I cry, in spite of the candle. I'm singing "For Good". (Yes, it's a Broadway theme I've got going here.)

Could be the song, not the onions. The song is about friendship and its impact on us. The crux of the song, for me, is in this particular lyric: "Who can say if I've been changed for the better? But because I knew you: I have been changed for good
." Sometimes, we seem to have so little notion of the powerful impact we have on one another. We speak and act and behave with little regard for the consequences. And when it's all said and done, we look back and, what? Regret what we've done? Defend ourselves? Resolutely shut the door against whatever we'd prefer to avoid?

The fumes dissipate. It's only one onion. But the tears continue. The friendship in question ended months ago. So why cry? What's the point in fussing about it now? Maybe what emanates from relationships and friendships doesn't disappear quite as quickly.

The stew is simmering on the stove now. I pull the candle over to the table for a bit of rumination. The unfairness of the way things are, as we talked about this morning in Bible study. The candle shines anyway. I consider what I've learned. I make a choice, flip to another song, move on. Just as I lit the candle with intent, I extinguish with volition. Blessing on the food we'll eat. Blessings on the choices we'll make. Blessings on our relationships, past, present and future.



Blogger Ann Allen - Flying Woman Designs. said...

This was just beautiful - the writing and the sentiment. Thanks.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Liz T-G said...

You're welcome, dearie. :-)

6:16 PM  

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