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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Fluidity

Say the world different

and see the change.

Not set in stone,

the world moves like the shadings of our energy fields,

licking the edges of the auras

in shifting impulses.

I don't need to tell you

that life is change

and holding on will end in tears.

 

During the '60s revolution

we were urged to go with the flow.

A commonplace now, so familiar,

so casual,

we forget that there we have the ultimate edict.

All that matters is knowing the change

and allowing it.

 

Am I really saying that the meaning of life—

well, at least the optimal approach

to a meaning of life--

is in this jokey, overworked phrase?

Apparently.

 

 
Copyright © 2021 Ann Tudor
Musings blog: http://www.scenesfromthejourney.blogspot.com
Audible.Ca: go to https://www.audible.ca and search for Ann Tudor
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Sunday, June 6, 2021

Sourdough Love

On Monday I took out the sourdough for its weekly feeding. My sourdough technique is slapdash (aren't you surprised?). My mother, Eileen, described her own rule for life as "by guess 'n' by golly", and I know I'm the same. Like it or not, we eventually, inevitably, turn into our mothers.

 

Anyway, rather than measure and niggle over my sourdough, I just feed it until I'm ready to use it. So I fed it (equal parts flour and water) all day Monday, not having the time to actually start the bread that day, until I had over six cups of sourdough starter ready to use. That's a lot.

 

I used two cups of it for some fantastic biscuits to go with Monday's dinner, but then I fed the starter twice more before bedtime, bringing the total amount back to well over six cups, which I left on the counter overnight to ferment.

 

Now, some people throw away excess sourdough starter. I beg your pardon? They do what? So no, that's not me. In this house we don't throw away good food (potential food, that is).

 

All day Tuesday my life revolved around bread. While I brewed our morning coffee I milled a quart of spelt flour in our grain grinder. After reading the paper, I started three kinds of dough: an ordinary white flour for French bread; my usual mixture of flours for whole-grain sourdough bread ("Scotch oats", millet meal, Red Fife wheat, spelt, and unbleached white flour); and finally, a white-flour dough enriched with eggs and butter.

 

By dinner Tuesday the top of our chest freezer (the only large horizontal space in the vicinity of the kitchen) contained three ficelles and two fatter French sticks; two large loaves of whole-grain sandwich bread; a dozen hamburger buns, a dozen sweet rolls (with fig and fennel jam), and a loaf of cheese and onion bread.

 

At bedtime I said to DinoVino, I think we should give some of this away; it's too much for us to eat and the freezer is full. And he said, No, we'll keep it. In the morning I pointed out again the fact that the freezer is packed with bread from previous weeks of sourdough play plus his own meat indulgences from the Virtual Farmers' Market. The. Freezer. Is. Packed.

 

So today I'll be delivering quarterings of sourdough loaves of one type or another to neighbours, adding a little happy gluten to their lives.

 

 
Copyright © 2021 Ann Tudor
Musings blog: http://www.scenesfromthejourney.blogspot.com
Audible.Ca: go to https://www.audible.ca and search for Ann Tudor
Audible.Com: go to https://www.audible.com and search for Ann Tudor




 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

What We Train For

We don't always train for the right things. Or, more properly, not always the permanently right things. After all, a life is full of change, and what serves us well at one point may be entirely the wrong thing twenty years down the road.

 

At least, this is how I justify my own situation. I trained for the piano. I played and practiced and noodled. I played for pleasure. To alleviate sorrow. I trained for a very dimly envisioned future that might involve music. I thought I was the bee's knees and the cat's meow, yes, but I loved the feeling of accomplishment and mastery that might come after diligent practice. I made it a point to have a piano wherever we lived, not being able to imagine life without a keyboard in my home. From age six until age 75, I fancied myself some minor kind of musician.

 

That's one thing I trained for—until I didn't.

 

I also trained to speak French, starting with two years of college French and then a year in Montpelier, where I celebrated my twentieth birthday on Christmas day, dining with a kind host family. I ate oysters for the first time in my life, and I found a pearl in my oyster. What an omen, eh?

 

I continued to train—to study French, to teach French, until I didn't. From about 1970 to the present I let my French slide (except for the three months we spent in Menton in 1990, when I had an embarrassing and somewhat exhilarating crash course in conversational French).

 

And now, my French is almost totally gone, except for a few pronunciation quirks. I am unable to pronounce "croutons" in the North American way and instead produce a very affected "crrrouTOHNG" whenever I discuss our Caesar salad toppings. In the same way, I can't get my head around the North American pronunciation of that lovely French crescent-shaped roll. Instead, another affectation, it is "crrrwaSSAHNG. What a pain to be around me.

 

Nevertheless, I once trained in French. I once trained in piano. And now all those hours of training count for nothing, for if you don't continue training, you run to fat, metaphorically speaking.

 

The big question here is: do I care? Do I miss those former accomplishments? And the answer is an emphatic "no". I've moved on to other things, whatever they may be. My days are full even without the piano and French.

 

The mystery right now is why we still have a piano in the living room. I've always had a piano, my nostalgia tells me. But really! In that tiny room, why keep a big black box that isn't used? What would Mari Kondo advise? Aren't you supposed to inventory your belongings every year and get rid of what you haven't used in the past twelve months? My piano qualifies. I should sell it. Should I sell it?

 

All that training down the drain. But that isn't true. During the years when I was learning the piano and learning French, both interests were real and filled me with joy and accomplishment. I am to be admired, I think, for having the courage to let go of what no longer serves me or even makes me smile.

 

 

Copyright © 2021 Ann Tudor
Musings blog: http://www.scenesfromthejourney.blogspot.com
Audible.Ca: go to https://www.audible.ca and search for Ann Tudor
Audible.Com: go to https://www.audible.com and search for Ann Tudor