Monday, April 23, 2012


I threw together a batch of butterscotch brownies this evening, because, hey, I had some time and I was almost out of macaroons. But get this, the salt container is nearly empty.

My usual method of purchasing salt goes like this:
1. Move at least 250 miles
2. Buy salt

...because you don't move salt. The container is so large and the cost so small, it makes no sense.

But I've been here four and a half years, and I've nearly used up the salt.

I don't think moving 250 miles is practical at this point, though honestly, every time someone quotes that "Pittsburgh has been named the worst city to be single in" stuff at me, every time I try to get the courage to start applying to jobs again, I think maybe moving would not be the worst idea. Except those articles usually are about being 18-24 and going to bars a lot, and the jobs aren't much of anywhere, even if I did know what job I wanted to do.

Four and a half years feels pretty long to me. I made it five years in both Tacoma and New York. Tacoma was a hundred million years ago with college and no need to decide what to do with myself just yet. New York, I had a secure job that I believed in, even if the manifestation wasn't always what I wanted it to be.

I am still kicking myself, even though it was the decision I needed to make at the time.

I wish I could just write "salt" on my shopping list and have that be all.

But hey, brownies. I don't know where my mother got the recipe, but they were my favorite when I was a kid, probably because I was the only one who liked them.

Melt 1/4 c. butter
Stir 1 c. brown sugar into it.
Cool slightly.
Beat in 1 egg and 1 tsp. vanilla.
Stir in 1/2 c. flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt.
Bake in a 9x9 pan at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Monday, April 9, 2012


The word of the week is tapas. Ironically this was chosen a bit lazily, as it was on the back of the card with last week's word. Tapas is variously translated as fire, heat, burning enthusiasm. Something I have been lacking lately, so I decided it was the right word.

Well, not so much lacking as I have been overwhelmed, running from one thing to the next, constantly, not having enough time to simply sit and be. In some ways this flurry of activity is good, because it keeps me from thinking too much about those things that I can't change, or don't yet know how to change. But feeling tired and overwhelmed is not good.

And so in the midst of a week when I was supposed to be thinking about burning enthusiasm, I skipped those things that I supposedly feel the most enthusiasm for -- dance and yoga -- and sat at home weeding the peonies.

Which, as it turns out, is another thing for which I have burning enthusiasm.

What I've learned about tapas this week is that it's not just doing things with enthusiasm -- it's finding the things for which I have the most enthusiasm, and making sure I do those things as well as the things which I "have to do" (like work, and clean the bathroom -- both things that bring benefits that I want to experience, but not things I would define as "enjoyable").

That brings me back to a poem by David Whyte I first heard in a movement workshop at Kripalu. The poem ends

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

Remembering this every day, with every choice I make about how to spend my moments.
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