apu

I participated in an unusual and powerful silent meditation retreat this past weekend. It was no different in structure from a retreat which alternates sitting and walking meditation over a period of designated days, in silence. For this retreat however, the walking periods would actually be in the form of hiking up Mt. Mansfield in Vermont.

The group met at a campground at the base of the mountain Friday evening, formed our community circle around a fire, and began a mutual container of silence. In the morning after breakfast and sitting together, we each began our hike up the mountain. Every 45 minutes we would each find a spot discreetly off trail and sit in meditation for the next 45 minutes. Individual, but connected.  And so on. By the end of the day we each had found our way to the top and back, and continued the retreat at the campsite.

There was no question I was in the presence of an ‘apu’ during this retreat.

Apu is the name given to the spirit of the sacred mountains in Peru; the most powerful of all nature spirits, a form of God. One of the many definitions for this word found in Wikipedia is that an apu is a light being that exists within special mountains, spirits that live in both the middle and upper worlds, and can intercede for humanity. I felt the truth of this when visiting Peru three years ago, traveling from Cusco out into the Sacred Valley, experiencing one of these apus for the first time.

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With peaks as high as 16,000 feet above sea level, they loom, reach out, and connect with the god like presence they are named for. They evoke the kind of awe that can linger and work magic.

It didn’t take long to connect with this apu that is the highest elevation at the top (4,393 feet above sea level) in all of Vermont. Our choice of trails were all ‘difficult’ by hiking standards. And this became evident soon enough as bold faces of stone began to greet us and ask to be climbed with much finesse. Conversely, the forest provided a sweetness of green and light filled protection during sitting meditation,

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until the elevation was just too high for sustained growth, and we were led out onto broad expanses of ancient stone and the kind of silence and view that comes with seeing so clearly, such a broad section of the earth beyond and below.

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Being in silence and in open attention to every sensation of this experience was exhilarating, even fun in the challenge of the climb. And inevitably, like the constant chatter of other hikers around me, there was lots of space to watch my ‘stuff’ come up and want to be heard too. The joy of the moments spent at the top quickly dissolved into the physical pain in my knees and legs on the descent. I had to move so slowly, while the rest of the world seemingly bounded past me with ease. The apu was now working on me. I had to find the place in me that could yield to the pain instead of expecting the mountain to yield for ‘me’.

The last of the sitting meditations took place surrounded by stone, completely exposed, with views to the layered beauty I was now part of.

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There were long periods where I was the only human presence. And yet through it all, I felt the power and calm of this apu that simply is, this presence of support for helping me stay, simply, in the open attention I began with.

One of the leaders of the retreat brought his dog Olivia, small in size, but big in spirit like this apu. The reversal of the word ‘dog’ into ‘god’ was easy here. I couldn’t help but note that the dog in my life Nora would never be so easy or well behaved in this kind of context. This brought up another kind of pain for me, one that is attached to my thinking that Nora’s challenging behavior, when she is not being completely sweet, is somehow a reflection of me. That her sharp piercing bark, even while her whole body and wildly wagging tail is quivering in excitement, should somehow be silenced.

Olivia’s presence in the group was palpable and inspiring and I loved watching her freely roam one minute, and the next, settle serenely with her human.

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Interestingly enough, like the dogs that roam freely all over Peru and make their connections to humans as they will. The last morning, I was honored by Olivia’s request to hop up into my lap just before we began meditation. Like the apu the day before, her steady presence allowed me to find the place in me that could yield to the pain around so many expectations in so many places in life and feel the fierce love that flows between me and Nora. It is what it is.

But maybe feeling love or pain doesn’t have to be fierce or not fierce. Maybe it too can just be what it is.  I’m still integrating this bit of wisdom from the apus of this retreat….

equinox

If someone could have scripted the perfect first day of fall, this would be it. Cloudless blue sky, bright sun, temperature in the 70’s, just enough of a breeze to rustle the dried leaves already on the ground. Additionally, a walk at the gorge this morning provides a host of sensations that heighten an awareness that today is a day to celebrate balance in this equinox when the light of day = the dark of night.

It is a slow walk at first, meandering down spurs and paths leading to the water, lounging on broad expanses of stone to take in the warm sun. The first pictures that call to be taken show me one balanced composition after another, some with equal shares of water and stone,

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of brilliant sparkles held by the surfaces light was bouncing off of,

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others that re-defined balance in the complexity that is created with the addition of reflection and color.

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Walking briskly along the road provides the balance of activity with contemplative moments of rest taken today already. The silence of the woods on my right is balanced by the sound of water flowing over rock on my left. My sense of freedom and independence is balanced by the sight of dear Nora far ahead, darting from waters edge across the road and up into the woods and back and the knowing that my relationship with her is deep and committed.  The smell of fall is balanced by the sweet smell of clean clear water.  And not to leave out any senses, even the sense of taste, activated by the piece of freshly made apple pie I had for breakfast, smile, is balanced by the anticipation of something savory when I get home…

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It occurs to me as the contents of my heart empty out into the glorious space around me that it is ‘me’ that is escaping protection to touch splendor. Finding balance in this moment is in the acknowledgement of the love that I can feel coming back in to fill that heart-space.

It is a good walk and a good day.  The equinox has given us very good cause for celebration.

it’s that time

The clock of nature has felt very precise the past few days. Approaching equinox is calling. The sound of geese Sunday morning was a shock, drawing me outside for the first sighting of southbound creatures. The noticeable appearance of leaves gathering at the edges of things, in the water, and on the ground, provides a new focus for light and color. P1150820

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The crisp temperatures warrant sweatshirts and long pants, and frequent thoughts of  ‘but it’s too early to make a fire’ have been present in the past two days.  It is time to make warming soups with the fresh potatoes, carrots, onions, and chard  consistently available at the farm where I get my weekly share.

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The autumnal equinox this year arrives in the wee hours tomorrow morning. Interesting is that technically, the time of sunrise and sunset is not exactly equal until Saturday Sept. 26 when sunrise at 6:59 a.m. will equal sunset at 6:59 p.m. (EDT). But the true equinox occurs when the center of the sun’s disk crosses the celestial equator and this occurs precisely at 4:21 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 23. At the same time the equinox occurs here on the east coast, it occurs across the globe.  How fascinating and inspiring it is to think we are all sharing this same balance between light and dark at the same time around the world.

There is something about these increasingly dark mornings that has me rising even earlier than usual. I was up at five this morning in the pitch dark. It’s bread baking day, and I’m excited about being able to turn on the oven and fill the house with its warmth. For the past week I’ve been began assembling the items I would need to begin a new levain starter in anticipation of resurrecting the rhythm of making these loaves on a regular basis, twice a week. It’s been twenty years since I was baking in my NYC loft kitchen, fermenting and proofing the dough in a draft free wood cabinet in my kitchen outfitted with heating pad to keep the temperature just right. I love this bread, the subtle sourdough, the moist rich crumb of these artisan loaves. I was just hitting my stride all those years ago, baking twice a week, learning by trial and error what was working and what wasn’t, and benefitting from all those little things discovered that can make a difference one way or another. But life, and letting go of the practice happened. Luckily, I was always able to find the bakeries that made beloved levain loaves, smile.

After days on the internet updating and educating on new and improved methods, I mentally began to make adaptations to the process that has been living in me as cell memory. I read about the virtues of having a dedicated wood dough mixing bowl, and became obsessed with finding an antique wood bowl for this purpose, sitting up late one night on Ebay to make sure I wouldn’t be outbid on the extra-large 16″ diameter bowl that surely, was the one I was supposed to acquire. I tested this new oven, practiced with the well seasoned baking stone and wood peel by making some quick rising baguettes, trying out a new technique of proofing and baking on parchment paper, allowing for ease of sliding the loaves in and out of the oven.. I found a cheap straight sided plastic pitcher at the grocery store I could use to make the levain starter (chef) in and prepared a large container of the signature 20% bran flour (1 cup whole wheat flour to 3 cups organic unbleached all purpose white flour) using locally grown heritage grains.

Finally, the day arrives to begin riding the waves of bread baking again.

I begin the chef three days before I want to bake, following the process I learned and am already familiar with from ‘Bread Alone’. I clean out the wood bowl that has just arrived in the mail and make a celebration out of the job of mixing dough from the gradual addition of flour to the chef now mixed with water with wide swirling strokes. And how I love to knead! It is a full body activity and the perfect way to spend fifteen minutes warming up in the chilly wee hours.  It is when it is time to proof the loaves that I feel the knot of frustration lingering from years ago, the disappointment that would enter the process when my proofed loaves would deflate as soon as I rolled them from their containers onto the peel. I didn’t understand how to make a ‘couche’ properly to support the rising dough back then and had defaulted to boules and baskets. Now, determined to master this skill, I locate a piece of thick cotton duck fabric in my stash, fold it to the right length, and rub flour into it liberally. Finding the right spot to locate the couche with the proofing loaves so the dough can rise in a moderate consistent temperature of 75 – 80 degrees is the trick. I now understand the purpose of the antique wood table inherited from my grandmother which is essentially a deep compartment with a hinged top. The top was used to knead the dough, and then the dough was placed inside, I imagine with a hot brick or such, to rise peacefully. Luckily this morning, the warm sun was streaming onto the dining room table and I simply set up the couche there, with heavy books flanking both sides to contain the rising torpedo shaped loaves.

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The oven is preheated with baking stone at least 45 minutes before it is time to bake. A small cast iron pan is placed on the bottom rack in which a cup of ice cubes will be placed to provide steam for the first minutes of baking. Carefully rolling each loaf onto the parchment paper lined peel is accomplished by literally holding my breath and praying! Once on the peel, the tops are slashed with a very sharp knife and I try to ignore the familiar disappointment I feel seeing the flattened out shapes as they are quickly slid into the oven. I can’t help watching now. The entire half hour of baking, I hover in the kitchen, periodically peering into the oven and before my very eyes, watch these beautiful loaves rise and form in the magnificent loaves they become, despite all doubt! Will this wonder ever cease?

The loaves emerge larger than life, with firm darkened crusts and an aroma that makes it hard to wait before cutting in for a slice.

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But I do wait and am rewarded with a heart stopping first bite. With the enthusiasm of a little kid wanting to share, the second loaf is wrapped in a paper bag to take over to my neighbor.

The remaining levain is fed and turned back into chef and here, now, three days later making the next round of bread possible. The wood bowl used to mix the dough

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is scraped with a stiff brush and a little water, then wiped clean.  I put my nose to the wood and inhale the smell of dough that still lives there and will only become richer the more the bowl is used.  And so it goes. Happy to herald in this equinox and the shift into something new that is as old as time…

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chasing the shadow

The routine for the daily walk in the woods includes first donning my walking pants, socks, and boots. All I have to do is think the intention and Nora begins to go crazy, running around the house in her unfettered enthusiasm. I put some treats in my pocket, sling camera over my shoulder and make motions to unbolt the front door. At this point Nora finally comes to rest at my feet, just long enough for me to remove her invisible fence collar. Her body tenses as the latch retracts and she bolts out before the door it is even half open. It is exactly the same, every single time. No variations. And just as consistently, I never leave the house without my camera, even on days when  I’m not thinking of ‘seeing’ but wanting to engage in a different way, I still attach the camera. I don’t have to use it, I tell myself.

I was in one of those, ‘I don’t have to use it’ spaces a few days ago. A gorgeous afternoon with bright warm sun and just feeling the simple joy of that. But within minutes of entering the woods, my attention was pulled to the beginning of long afternoon shadows being cast in front of me. A fern making their momentary imprint on a boulder,

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The intriguing abstract composition on a tree trunk,

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And the patchwork play created at the brook, which absorbed even my own shadow.

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Now I was consciously chasing shadows. Watching for them as I walked along and considered the varied meanings of the word ‘shadow’. First that came to mind is how cast shadow in architecture defines the form of what is actually there. If we saw only the light, we would see only the light! It wouldn’t be about seeing anymore, but about feeling, about knowing in a way that transcends seeing.  There is also the negative association attached to the word shadow that embodies fear of what is there and the implication that the shadow, or dark side of something is bad or undesirable, and wonder how that too can be transformed into something positive.

I like to think of a shadow like the unknown…as a question. Ignoring a shadow is like making an assumption, you will never have a chance of experiencing the joy of mystery or discovery that might be there if you are not curious about chasing it.

I was at Ben’s school the other day to help set up for a benefit party to be held there. My plan was to work until it was time for the weekly afternoon variety hour which Ben would be MC for this week. I mentioned to him the night before that I would be at the school in the morning and probably having lunch there that day. So, it is a little before noon, and Ben comes bounding out to the tent where we are setting up, and with a big hug tells me it is time for lunch. He tells me he needs to eat early today so he can finish his work shift in the kitchen in time to prepare for his MC role and indicates I should come in and eat with him now. So I follow him inside, see the line forming to begin lunch, and am surprised when he gestures for me to follow him into the dining room instead of getting in line. There on a table are two full plates of food already prepared! He is beaming. He gestures for me to sit and we begin eating the generous portions of steamed salmon, large mound of broccoli and equally large portion of cheesy pasta. I just assumed he had, with the permission of his boss (chef Ralph), prepared these plates in advance so he could eat early and get to his job. Others came to join us at our table and I finally noticed that no one else had salmon and broccoli. I still assumed this was one of the chef’s choices of the day and that so far, we were the only takers.  Ben went off to his job and I walked over to the window to thank Ralph for the lunch, still curious that I had seen no other salmon on anyone else’s plate. I looked at the day’s lunch choices and mentioned that there was nothing there that resembled what I had just eaten, with a question in my voice. When I told him what I had, he said, “that wasn’t my food!” and we just stood there dumbfounded staring at each other for a moment. He called Ben over from his dish washing station and asked where he had gotten our lunch. Ben beams again and says, “I made it! In cooking class this morning!” More curious now, I asked his cooking teacher about it and discovered that Ben, on his own initiative, decided he wanted to make lunch for his mom and proceeded to prepare the entire meal, with a little help on the cheese sauce from his teacher, for us to have that day.

After making and sharing this meal, after finishing his shift with this favorite part of his job (mopping the floor),

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and then watching him seamlessly segue into the spotlight of MC, I was reminded in a very big way, to never underestimate the abilities of my son. How easy it would be for these abilities to remain hidden in the shadow of his Down Syndrome..

One last something of shadow and light caught my eye as I was finishing the walk in the woods.  Not completely evident what it was about this tree beckoning, I had get off the path and sink a little deeper into the scene.

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As if my hand was being guided, I pointed the camera to a spot where the shadow of something very fine was flickering. Had I just assumed that nothing was there and walked away, I would have missed it, this disk like glow, suspended and dancing between light and shadow.

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But I was in chasing the shadow mode now and let my curiosity reign, focusing in as far as I could on what appeared to be an elaborate and perfectly round spiderweb.

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Unusual. Mesmerizing. As if the lens was now open to what is typically unseen, I watched a green orb of light float past gently. I put the camera down for an instant in the awe of the moment, lifted it back up again, and it was all gone, just like that.

gentle giants

I finally discovered the Chesterfield Gorge. Amazing that it is my neighbor, I have driven past the entrance every day these first eleven months of living in my new home. Local friends have been regaling me with tales of coming to ‘the gorge’ as a child, memorable still. And yet I just haven’t gone there. Something has kept me circling instead, the beauty of the land right outside my door.

My neighbor invited me to join her on a walk at the gorge on Labor Day, and ever since I have felt the pull to get back to this beautiful place. On a gorgeous morning during this week’s gorgeous weather, Nora and I finally made our first long walk there together.   The walk is along a dirt road that parallels this section of the Westfield river. It dips up and down, offering dramatic vistas down into the wide expanse of river,

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and then just as easily, access to the stony shore.

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It is all just so….big.

I realize communing with the brook at home has just been a prolonged prelude. Nestled in the valley like this river and flanked on both sides by gorge like terrain, what has felt grand and big up to now during my daily communion walk in the woods and meadow, now feels, truly, like an extension of my living room. Day by day, my world getting just a little bit bigger….

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Here in the Chesterfield Gorge, however, I am challenged to open up to a much wider view once again, as if the very molecules flowing freely in my body that have adapted to big are ready to get bigger. How exciting that I can easily come here regularly to aid and abet in the next level of this adaptation. Smile.

At one point, the road straddles the sharp incline of the gorge. Looking almost straight down to the river landscape below, an artist is perched at the edge working.

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Turning and looking up is the sharp slope of land, a large mass of stone rises out of the earth to greet me. The balm of sweet energy I feel coming from this gentle giant is palpable and I resist the impulse to rush up to hug and touch and commune with this presence. There is no picture that can do the feeling of the expanse and the intimacy of this energy justice. I try.

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I think of the big view that greets me from home, the rise of tree covered land calling out to me, beyond, each day like another gentle giant, steward of Earth’s love.  It too is slightly out of reach and yet tantalizingly close at the same time…

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It seems counter-intuitive that these gentle giants, in their call to intimacy, should feel so far way.  But then maybe that is the nature of intimacy.  Perhaps it is something that needs to feel big and possible, before negotiating some distance to feeling safe or true.

Walking back to the car, the sun is high and illuminating the glittering expanse of the river. The fire in the water is continuous in this light, the stone below reflecting its life blood.

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I wonder how many months of walking these shores before I can call this home too….

light

The past week has been showing me lots of light. Literally and metaphorically.

First, there was the ‘Light Summer Friday Fish Stew”**. I love making fish soups and chowders, but usually wait for a cool day that invites dense and warm food. But this was a hot summer night and I was just home with my farm share, including freshly harvested potatoes, white summer onions, and a bagful of fresh herbs. The usual combination of potatoes, onions, butter, cream and fish was transformed that night by the addition of fresh zucchini and broccoli, a handful of fresh chopped lemon balm and fresh lemon juice. Dazzling. So wonderfully light in texture, with a fragrant feel of summer in each bite. It’s hard for me to imagine doing it any differently, or it being any better than this…

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Then there was the walk in the woods a few mornings later, earlier than usual and the sun was just beginning to pour down over into the morning treetops on to the ground.

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I kept seeing the dramatic edge between light and dark, no middle ground, no in between,

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and for this, the light seemed so much more present.  It drew me to it and I wanted to feel its warmth and transformative power, to feel the change as dramatically and completely as this leaf…

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Significantly too, the dragonflies have been consistently present, not only In the air shows of dozens finding their supper in the meadow in the waning light of the day, but all day too, in the bright sun, a single explorer sometimes dipping in and out of the garden and marking a colorful trail.   But it is rare to find one at rest like this beauty who, perched at the entry to the house, stayed quite a while to be fully seen.

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Watching this dragonfly in repose, I realized how typically fleeting the experience of shifting light and color and the transformation it initiates, can be.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to stand in the light that can shine on my emotional life just long enough to clearly see a pattern I want to change. Not that the relationships with the men in my life haven’t been fulfilling and illuminating as I have grown. This I can say in retrospect. I have been fortunate to love and be loved by many, to open my heart, give all I have to give emotionally, experience what is there to be experienced, and by the grace of whatever compels me to be true, find a way to let go when I am led to that place where something has to give.

But a pattern has formed over the years that has made it hard for me to trust myself in these relations. Rarely do I have the confidence or presence of mind to be able to see and share the conflicts that arise when I am living in them. Confusion can reign for quite a while.

I was visiting my parents for the weekend, we were all to go together to my aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary.  Similarly, my beautiful parents just celebrated their 59th a few weeks ago.  I love this picture of them taken at the party this weekend, with an indescribable light shining from each of them in their space there together in that moment.

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Humbling.  Awesome.  There was a poignancy to the spirit of the whole weekend too.  I try to adhere to the advice that you can never really know what goes on between two people, what accounts for their successes and their challenges.  Fifty plus years is a long time and I am simply full of admiration, even knowing my own choices and resultant path have led me in a different direction.

As the morning regaled us and its companion sky with the dramatic light of sunrise,

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I recognized the time for something in me to be illuminated too.  I scanned back over the years of my marriage and what has transpired since it ended, who I have been in relationship with, and more importantly, who I think I have wanted to be in relationship with. It is such a loaded subject. For me, it is full of pride and humiliation that gets interwoven with love in a way that makes seeing clearly a challenge. After days of watching stories of my time with a recent lover bubble up, I began to see the pattern that has brought me to such pain over the years.  When I finally sat down to write, the words poured out effortlessly, each realization a light bulb illuminating the way for the next light bulb to turn on.

I think this is the gift of writing. Not unlike the famous exercise of doing ‘morning pages’ (from Julia Cameron’s book entitled ‘The Artist’s Way’) with an intent to capture a stream of consciousness, when writing is effortless and without the editing mind, a path to illumination and healing, is possible.  Writing this way, light becomes the absence of judgment.

But here is what I have also learned. That once illuminated doesn’t necessarily mean always illuminated. I felt great in the moment of expression. But once there was enough time for this new wave to move through me completely, there was also enough time for doubt to settle in again. It is so scary, realizing how easy it is to feel the unwanted, again. I’d like to idealize the experience of illumination and think I am changed forever by such moments of clear knowing, but I’ve learned it is only the beginning. That the energetic imprints weaving in and around my human body take time to re-adjust their relationships to each other even in illumination and change too. It is all a wonderfully rich process. One that hopefully will continue to bring me back to my heart and the potential of evolving human connection, over and over.

 

**Light Summer Friday Fish Stew (for 2)

4-5 small/medium new potatoes, cut into thick slices

1 medium fresh white onion, chopped

1 small head fresh picked broccoli, broken into bite size pieces

1 small zucchini, thickly sliced

handful of just picked sungold cherry tomatoes, cut in half

handful fresh lemon balm leaves, cut into thin ribbons

1/2 lb. firm white fish (Cod or Haddock, preferably fresh, but I made this with a defrosted frozen piece)

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 Tbsp. butter

juice of one lemon

Saute onions and potatoes in about 1/4 cup of water with a splash of olive oil.  Cover and simmer until potatoes are just tender.  Add zucchini, and lemon balm, stir for a minute or two over high heat, add butter and tomatoes, turn fire to low, cover and cook gently for a few minutes.

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Don’t walk away.  Add broccoli next and cover to steam for a few minutes.  Cut fish into bite size pieces, add to pot with crème and lemon juice, raise heat just enough to see steam rising from the pot, cover, turn fire off and let sit just long enough for the fish to become translucent and flakey.

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Season to taste with salt and pepper.   Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

mandala bowls

A friend contacted me recently saying he wanted to buy one of my quilts. But he hadn’t picked one yet, and asked if I could help narrow the choices down for him. I suggested he go though the photos online and be open to what spoke to him, resonated, and/or drew him in.

It didn’t take long before I received an e-mail announcing which quilt he wanted. A quality I have long admired in this friend, he knows how to tap into the energetics of life in a way that is inspiring for both him and his community, he doesn’t hesitate to act on intuition.  He had chosen one of my early pieces, one that evokes the feeling of a strong center that is completely connected.  We made a plan for me to visit his new home, have dinner, and ultimately find the best location for the quilt there. As this quilt has been one of my favorite pieces, it enjoys living on the wall over my family room couch. I took it down, shook it out and carefully rolled it for transport. Now there was a hole in the room. I began to mentally scan through the stored away pieces yet to hang for any length of time that might need to be seen now. I needed something horizontal for this wall, but almost every finished piece had been designed to hang vertically.

It’s never conscious thought, those moments of inspiration that propel you toward something startling. The impulse to rotate one of the sleeping quilts (Mandala Bowls) found folded in the stack was a quiet one. A simple change of perspective from vertical to horizontal.  However the effect was blaring, a big fog horn YES, this is an altogether new image, strong and centered and absolutely right! It stayed up on my wall like this for days while I integrated the knowing that this was the quilt for my friend.

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Mandala Bowls is the first of a series I began five years ago and was inspired by the beautiful stacks of my mother’s hand made pottery bowls I keep visible in my kitchen.  Bowls contain a moment and a whole universe at the same time.  There is center and there is a tangible, implied vortex to the unknown.

I arrived at his house with three quilts to preview, a choice to be made, and two fresh baked baguettes (made a few days ago and frozen for just such an occasion) to contribute to the meal we would share later.

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After years of being away from the love of bread baking, taking a voyage back into making artisan style loaves was inevitable.  I found this adapted recipe from Daniel Leader’s new book Local Breads: Sourdough and Whole-Grain Recipes from Europe’s Best Artisan Bakers referenced in a wonderful blog post outlining tips for making better bread….

http://www.farmgirlfare.com/2005/07/ten-tips-for-better-bread.html

Daniel Leader had been my bread baking mentor and hero when I began this endeavor years ago.  As a young mother, his newly published book (1993)  written with Judith Blahnik entitled Bread Alone, became my bible.  The book is one of the few I have in my collection with wrinkled mottled pages from so much use.  Finding the farmgirl website recently with so many wonderful shared recipes of a kindred spirit became the initiation I needed to get my hands back into the dough…

Baguettes deposited on the kitchen counter, we walked each room of his house, evaluated potential locations, and settled for two walls to consider in the living room. I think it took less than five minutes for ‘Mandala Bowls’ to find home. The others, beautiful and worthy too, just didn’t have a chance. I love when something is this clear and you don’t have to second guess or belabor the effort.

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Now we had lots of time to move into dinner! This particular friend is one I have shared food adventures with for years. He is probably the only other one I know who makes  yummy ‘mmmmm’ noises out loud, frequently, (just like me), when eating something delicious. It was a joy to sit and watch him make his famous bruschetta on thick slices of baguette…

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Collaboration at its best! Smile. Not to belabor this description either, I simply took a picture, and noted the spirit of art inspired nourishment here too…

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