In the thick of winter


Kitchen pups

Having two dogs makes me really disinclined to have children. They exhaust me, especially the little one. I know kids are, like, 100x more difficult than dogs, I know, just don’t talk to me about having babies any time soon. The pervading feeling in my brain, regarding child-bearing and -rearing: Women have it rough, and mothers probably have it roughest of all. Maybe I’ll join their ranks one day. Not now.

Truthfully, the dogs are good 85% of the time. They have their on days and they have their off days. I have to intervene in squabbles and mini-fights from time to time, which ratchets my anxiety up to seriously unfun levels. They never fight when Guion is around. Could be that he’s scarier (which we know he is to Pyrrha), could be that he’s a calming presence.

Last night, I spent an hour making a frittata from this fancy Hudson Valley cookbook from Aunt Jane. I don’t cook much anymore, because Guion is way better at it, but when he gets home late from work, I will attempt to make a meal. Sometimes I am successful. So, anyway, I’m spending an hour making this frittata. I get the old skillet in the oven, pull it out, taste a bit, and promptly spit it out. The whole thing tastes like it’s been seasoned with metals and chemicals. I blame the skillet. I throw it all in the trash. The dogs start fighting. I start to cry. I send Guion to get takeout from the faux-Japanese place in the strip mall while I watch the first 15 minutes of “The Bachelor” and feel — if not better about my cooking abilities — a little better about the state of my moral compass. Nothing like some self-righteous TV viewing to improve one’s mental state.

Guion likes to tease me for my inability to read labels on products that I buy. For a detail-obsessed copy editor, I am curiously unable to focus on labels or make good decisions while shopping. Shopping induces this weird paranoia in me that I’ve never been able to adequately label; somehow I feel panicky, like I need to make a quick decision. I’m never relaxed when shopping. I made one of my greatest lapses in label-reading yesterday. I was at Target and I needed a new bra. On the fly. Just wanted it to be nude and inexpensive. So I bought one that advertised it was wireless (I daily thank the Lord for such inconsequential breasts). Came home. Pulled it out of the bag. Realized I’d brought a nursing bra.

I used to read my Bible every day. I was a pious kid and a super-pious (read: unbearably vain) teenager, and I think I read my Bible every day for five or six years. I’ve read the whole thing several times now, and it’s engraved in my memory. But over the past few years, I felt burned out by the Bible. I’m not sure why, but I couldn’t make myself read it on a regular basis.

One of my goals this year is to read the whole thing again. To my delight, I’m enjoying myself. Specifically, I’m enjoying remembering all of the things I’d forgotten. There are, for instance, so many cryptic things that Jesus says, sayings that I’ve never heard a pastor try to explicate. Like this:

Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

— Matthew 18:18 (ESV)

How curious! I’m in Exodus and Matthew now, and they’ve been simultaneously revelatory and familiar, old news and new inspiration.

A standout line from Lucie Brock-Broido’s recent collection of poems, Stay, Illusion:

The less the light the more the discontent in the dark.

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