Thursday, September 22, 2011

The concrete and the tactile

Some days are hard. Yesterday was one of them. Much important pastoral work, none of it easy. It is a gift to do this kind of work, but it sits with you at night like a bad toothache.

So last night, I made a fairly complicated dinner that is one of the favorites chez Mibi - shrimp, asparagus, and red peppers with a tangerine/soy/ginger sauce. Lots of chopping things into strips and such. Steps to follow and stirring and such.

I often turn to cooking and other similar tasks when I have a hard day. It's comforting to do something tactile that unhooks the brain when it wants to run over and over again through the work of the day. It's also comforting to do something that will be completed, something finite, something concrete, when you are working in a world of the eternally unfinished and difficult to measure. It helps that it tastes good, too.

Today was a calmer day, with some good conversations and visits. No time to cook, because of a regional meeting. I brought a salad to the potluck supper that preceded the actual meeting.

No chance to work off the day with serious cooking. But I got out for a half hour to the fabric store to get material for the living room drapes. A rich, beautiful jacquard in wine and mustard and sage and cobalt. It will work well in our Tudor revival house, in a living room with arched doorways, mullioned casement windows, rough cream walls, and a window seat.

It will take several days to cut and sew them...another concrete and tactile and finite task that reminds me that there are some things that I do that I can complete, and then there are somethings I cannot. That's the hard part, figuring that out, and leaving to God the things that only God can complete.

In the meantime, the shrimp was good. The drapes will be good. Not perfect, of course. They never are. But they will be done, and having a few things that are done in the midst of all that cannot be done is, after all, a good thing.

It doesn't all have to be done, but it's good when some of it is.


Crimson Rambler said...

I'm with you on the cooking thing...a great big batch of something! Lots of chopping! As the nest is finally empty -- I enjoy the chance to help my HOS boss cook for her student groups...and your dish sounds wonderful, might the recipe be forthcoming?

it's margaret said...

yeah --those things one can finish are sooooo important!

Blessings dear sister.