A good day to you, my lovely little Otherbeasts. If I could hug you I would. A bit of creative writing to soothe myself and maybe even you.
I've done it since I was a little girl. Play with my food. Always. At
the end of every meal I'd sit and pulverize the little pieces of food
that were left on my plate. I'd make shapes, build things; bottom line:
I'd entertain myself. That's been one of my best qualities. Not playing
with food, but rather finding pleasure and entertainment in the small
things, letting them settle in my mind for my rampant imagination to
peruse through. It always kept me from being bored.
I found myself doing it again tonight. Playing with my food.
I became lost in my effort to massacre the little pieces of pink salmon
scattered on my plate. I'd jab the end of one silver prong into the
meaty flesh and watch it break. Then I realized my mind had finally
escaped. Escaped, even if momentarily, from the darkness that had
flooded it's cells for hours and days on end.
I stared at my plate. A pool of amber olive oil had
coagulated in the very center. It had separated itself from the
vinaigrette and formed one lone circle. I stuck my fork in the middle of
it, watching the oil adhere itself to the metal, desperate to connect
with something. I swished my fork and sent the oil scattering in a
number of directions. Now, many miniature circles dotted the alabaster
plate. I laughed cynically. How representational this was of my life;
correction, recent life. How that I had felt like I was scattered in a
million tiny pieces, isolated, now lost with nothing to reconnect to. I
then became obsessed with trying to pull the oil back together, my mind
making a ridiculous link that this was somehow some form of
representational symbolism in my subconscious. I was trying to pull the
pieces of my life back together. Trying to reconnect the pieces of my
There is one downside of finding the joy in small things.
Now, all of the small things I'd noted and took delight in popped out at
the oddest moments in my day, catching me off guard and blindsiding me.
Then again, I suppose I can blame myself for that. Give me an object.
Any object. I can make a series of related connections that ultimately,
winds up right back to a bittersweet memory. That's how my days are, so
how can I not possibly think about it. I want to scream at my brain,
shut up, SHUT UP. It won't listen. I can't quiet the thoughts it
produces, the memories it plays back over and over in my mind.
When someone walks out of your life, they leave. Not only do
they leave, they leave behind. Let me explain. They leave behind all
sort of little things; they leave them behind in your apartment, in your
car...they leave them behind in your mind. I don't need pictures, not
with a memory like mine. So, how can you possibly ever forget if you've
got reminders? The way someone smiles at you and you realize they've got
the same familiar dimple. Or the way someone curls their toes when they
drive. It's the small things that trigger an onslaught of these
My plate is lifted from the table and I snap back to
reality. My mind escaped, if only momentarily, for a millisecond, only
to return to the toiling that had become so familiar. See? I had done it
again. Connected something random, which connected to something else,
that linked to something else, that brought the darkness washing back
It's funny how people come into our lives when we're at our
absolute worst and they're left with having to suck the scum from the
bottom of the empty barrel that is our heart. They waltz in very
suddenly and seem to lift the smog that clouds our vision. They plant a
tiny seed of hope deep in the pit of our bellies and lovingly water it.
Now whether or not it flowers is up to ourselves entirely, but they
definitely contribute to the partial growth of that seed. Regardless of
the residual dark, ominous clouds that loom in our being, dampening our
hearts, we can't help but feel that slightest bit of sunshine trying to
peek in from behind the clouds. In turn, that little bit of sunshine
and that little bit of watering and care starts to nourish the seed,
coaxing it into rooting and growing. Time begins to soften the lingering
pain and it also allows that seed of hope to root, which eventually
leads to it becoming a beautiful tree filled with fragrant blooms of
By the time that little seed has grown into a tree, the
memories and the darkness have faded, giving way to new beginnings, new
friends and a new life. The limbs branch out and help fill in the holes
something or someone left. It's enduring the growth process that is
ultimately the hardest part. If we focus on plugging away and going
through the motions, knowing that in the end we will be able to look
upon this magnificent new growth with awe and happiness, it helps ease
the time in between.
So, now when I play with my food, which I will inevitably do
at every meal, I do not think of the hurtful past or the bittersweet
memories. Instead, it allows me to daydream about my future, wonderful
new friends, to wonder at the new things in store, and to marvel at the
new road I am now traveling on with it's bright new beginnings rising
over the horizon.
Until Next Time,