Tag Archives: autumn

Through the trees the horses move slowly

indira Ganesan, Honeynut Squash, 2020

Through the autumn trees, I can see the horses on the neighboring farm move slowly. The leaves themselves are gold, russet, green, with bright red berries scattered throughout. The window is open, and the air is sharp, cold, and the clouds have been putting on such a show of shadowy grays that they must have their own hashtag. All day Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone has been open on my kitchen table like a bible. It is over seven-hundred loose-leaf sized pages, and every so often I look at it as I nibble on this and that. Here is how to prepare dozens of canapés; here is how to remove a baked tart shell from its panwithout it falling apart. Here is how I can take cream, saffron, pine nuts, and pasta, and create a dish fit for a royal feast.

Covid had taken away my cheery dreams of feasts, though ten people can still gather around a table at a time, preferably outdoors. I mostly eat alone, but largely well, unless sheer laziness drives me to crackers and cheese for dinner. Tonight, the election results in the US will roll in, and most everyone’s vote will get counted. If we are lucky, it will be a while to know the results, and sense will prevail. There will needed change. Four years ago, I went to bed early, confident that the vote would tirn out the way I wanted, only to be rudely awakened. I don’t know what will happen tonight. There’s an online election party hosted by a local art gallery I might tune into, and there is the Danish comedy I’m currently catching up on. There is a plate of honeynut coins I fried in olive oil (Vegetarian, p. 440) that might serve as a pizza topping with some sage leaves and crumbly gorgonzola, if I remembered to stock that cheese in the fridge. Every few seconds, I chase my cat off the counter; she doesn’t understand daylight savings time, off the counter, and wants to eat now, right now, omg, this second.

I have a birthday in a few days. One grey hair has found itself to my right eyebrow. I have fifty-nine tulip bulbs to plant this week, the same number as my age today.

Recovery, Reverie

The day was going to be different. Isn’t that always the case? I was going to go in to Boston for my weekly class, but because a guest writer was giving a reading, we were going to use the time after to write. News of a nor’easter came, and I woke to find the power gone. I wrote to my class to enjoy the reading without me,waxing poetic about the rain and wind, and how this was the kind of weather to birth pages of words.

But instead of clearing my desk, I noticed that the radio station where I volunteer at needed someone to cover a shift. Well I could do that, I thought, driving over. Somehow I managed to cram three hours of business donor ads into an hour, play some music, overturn a loose leaf folder which emptied its pages onto the floor. A listener called to gently correct my prunciation of an artist’s name. I managed to continue to miss cues, knock my headphones apart, suffer three coughing fits, and finally gather my raincoat to exit.

One reason I thought I’d cover a shift was because I woke in acute pain from the shingles vaccination I’d had the day before. As I write this, with mild fever , a fuzzy head, and achy body, already in bed at a quarter past seven, I wonder what fresh hell is this? Let’s roll out all those cliches. Being sick on your own is no fun. Who can you call for comfort? These days it is all texting. So you take some Advil, a teaspoon of honey because a friend of yours makes it with her bees, and wait for the morning.

How many nights do I just wait for morning? Tonight, I made a dinner out of a can of vegetable soup a friend recommended, adding some rasam powder, garlic, and mustard seed I fried in a small amount of olive oil, and several pieces of corn tortillas. I watched an episode of Doc Martin, wishing it was The British Baking Show, and finally made my way to bed.

It seems to me that I should host a dinner-making party, where every one gathers to make food for the week. Of course, it would have to be vegetarian in my kitchen, and there will be two curious cats around. And I’d have to scrub everything down to keep the dander away, and already the thought has exhausted me.

Somewhere in this essay is a cry, muted, but hovering: vaccines hurt; the immunities lower, the eyes get weepy, the body aches. I am grateful for a full belly, a warm bed. I want more, but this enough. Yesterday was different,as I listened some truly amazing music on the radio throughout the day and night in the car, went to a play, and came home to stay up until past midnight googling the play I had just seen. Tomorrow will be different. Outside, it not raining, but only the sound of wind filling the air.