Just when I established a rhythm, just when I thought I had it all under control, it all kind of oozed out between my fingers. Or at least one finger.
I was on a (writing) roll in February. Kids were tracking along with their things: music, school, some normal-for-the-age-social dramas; Mr. Hubby had managed to intercept and surprise his father in Paris (more on this soon); I was finishing up my third to last chapter in my memoir and blogging. My rising blog numbers were doing a lot to feed my jonessing inner stats junkie.
I had the world at my fingertips. Until I almost cut one off. This was not the kind of writers block I expected.
Faules fleisch musst weg. Lazy meat must leave.
My husband loves to throw this German saying my way, which usually results in a carrot or onion thrown his way. I will say though, it’s not a good sign when you mistake your finger for a carrot.
My youngest had a cold. So you know what kind of soup I was making… not vegan. Okay, so I have no problem occasionally setting aside ideology for practicality…
In some ways I was glad hubby was gone. If I even prepare a meal with a bit of meat, I get the recovering-meat-eater look. The look meant to instill a bit of mock guilt and social shame.
Remember in the 70s, how anti-smoker, former smokers could be? That’s my man on meat, anymore. Or no meat, as it were.
I was in a hurry. The knife was big, angled for the Chinese side slice. The cut was more than a nick. Much more. And, the knife was dull.
I’ve learned from so many wise men how to sharpen and use knives, the words of one, who lived in his van, flooded back: “Dull knives leave the worst cuts. Cuts that take longer to heal.”
I rinsed, trying not to look at the shark gill cut that left a flap of index finger falling forward toward the tip. Nice, eh? We won’t get into the blood. Nope. Let’s just say, my daughter wanted to drive me to the hospital.
I wrapped and compressed and looked for bandages. Nothing in the house. Not even a sanitary napkin—a trick I used to patch up a firefighter who almost lost a thumb when he crashed his ultra light into the side our hangar, in the middle of the high desert. After his (and my) shock subsided, he told me that firefighters often use sanitary napkins for such cases.
I managed to patch my finger together with paper towels and tape. In short, the pain and the bleeding woke me up in the night. I washed and re-applied another homemade bandage and kicked myself.
I knew I would not be able to write—for at least a week. And like a spurned lover, I couldn’t bear to look at the computer…much. But sometimes, when you’re writing a book, it’s best to leave it to simmer in what I call the back brain.
Chewing Gum and Soup Don’t Go Together
At least I didn’t drop my gum in the soup. I did that once. Minutes before guests were to arrive.
I rarely talk on the phone. But I was. Probably with my good friend Lisa. And it happened. The gum just popped out of my mouth and disappeared into the opaque soup. Perfectly camouflaged. Un-fricken-believable.
Hubby came home in time for dinner to see me madly spooning through the soup. What kind? Broccoli. The perfect soup into which to lose a lump of mint-colored gum.
Der Herr Gott strafft die kleine Dingen sofort.
(God punishes the small things right away.)
“What’re we gonna do?” I asked him.
“How did you manage this?” He asked, with that wry grin he cops when he knows I’m a bit boxed in and ready to spar.
In the end, I fished out the gum with a small sieve. I simmered the thickening soup on low boil. The guests arrived. I wiped the sweat from my brow, and if it weren’t for pointing a finger at my husband’s accusatory smirk, I don’t think anyone was the wiser.
Now that you’ve decided you won’t be joining me for dinner any time soon—or ever—that should free me up to get back to more writing. The book project looms. Looms large with several great connections and insights lately.
I love what you’re all up to out there. I’m glad to be back in the blogosphere with you.
What’s cooking behind your blog or book? And what has kept you from writing lately or pushed you to it?
I enjoyed your post! And a comment you left on my blog a week or two ago has helped to inspire me to begin a book project (or novel, or whatever I want to call it) that I now realize has been waiting for me in my mind for quite a while. So thanks!
You are so welcome. I had an amazing writer tell me something YOU will especially appreciate given your line of work and the writings I’ve seen from you so far: look at your life like a dream. Step back and interpret it as if it were a dream… this allows you a way/ permission to drill down into meaning that you may not otherwise give yourself.
So glad to see you here again. I’m so thrilled to be back with more than three typing fingers!
Oh god, I wanted to say I am so sorry to hear about your accident. That is one of the many reasons why I avoid cooking whenever possible. And thank you for what you have written. That is an excellent way to view one’s life. And something else comes to mind. I often find the day much more interesting if I can imagine part of it in a way that I know probably won’t happen in reality. But who does know what will happen next …
Ha, my imagination gets me into SO MUCH TROUBLE! But trouble is fun once in a while! I also find reality and it’s coincidences so overpowering, I cannot ignore the messages that happen when the stars line up and drop answers to my questions right in my lap… or shows me how tightly interconnected the specifics of my story are with the stories of others… like finding a long lost family members once separated by generations and geography right across the neighborhood. Or sitting down next to my NY college roommate’s neighbor on a train station bench in Europe. I always open my mouth… usually to good return! 🙂
Ouch! I had just a small cut in my finger the other day and it was such a nuisance, so I can imagine what an ordeal it was to have this bad cut on your finger, constantly getting in the way of everything you want to do. Hope it heals quickly! But the gum in the soup! What a hoot! At least you didn’t spit in the soup on purpose like I’ve heard it done in restaurants when the cook looks out and sees a customer he doesn’t like.
Love the image of spitting into the soup!!!! And you got the part that’s the most bothersome… typing with three fingers and a hop-a-long thumb has been no picnic!
What you don’t tell your dinner guests they won’t ever know! Or to put it in the words of my mother: What the eye doesn’t see, the heart won’t grieve. A good philosophy.
I really like your mother’s philosophy. A lot! I hide a lot of leftovers in the next day’s meal. A trick I learned from my mother-in-law, who is a wizard at crafting world cuisine on a dime. But that probably comes from her frugal life-as-European-artist sensibilities as well.
Cooking – turnips! We have plenty and I’m excited to try out a couple of new ways to prepare them. Writing – my blog. Although I have a couple of other ideas dancing in my brain.
Tammy – I’m smiling, trying to remember which question would have elicted the answer: “cooking turnips.” Would love to know what other answers are dancing in your brain!
Well, I don’t have a blog, but I have a couple that I like to follow (one being yours, of course!), so I keep up my writing with replies to posts. With the head colds passing to each member of the family, I have been making several batches of chicken soup–I do, however, have all my fingers intact! LOL I think I remember the gum incident, too!
Yay- my memory puts you somewhere in the gum story, either as confidant or a conspirator in some retelling of it. But, yes, always laughing with my idiot-girl moments!
I can relate to your knife story, Renee. When I was a month shy of delivering my (now) 18 year old daughter, I sliced through my finger trying to cut a stale bagel. I also learned, in the emergency room, that its better to sever a phalange with a sharp knife rather than a dull one. Unfortunately, my sharp knife cut through a tendon and I had to go through a month of physical therapy!
Your gum story could easily be a “Saturday Night Live Skit!” But, I’m dying to know what kind of conversation you were having that caused a piece of gum to fly out of your mouth? It must have been a good one!
I don’t know how you are able to be so creative in your cooking to not include meat. You must have some great Vegan books. Kuddos to you!
I’ve been procrastinating my writing because the weather in Arizona is just too gorgeous right now to be sitting at my desk, typing.
Glad you are back! I’ve missed reading your blogs. 🙂
Just when I needed a writer-girl hug! Thanks! Yikes – about your finger that sounds horrific! LOL on the SNL reference! I could recreate a conversation, but what I’d love to see is the look on my face. At least the German Consul wasn’t coming to dinner that night. THAT would have been a story… you know how meticulous Germans are. There are FABULOUS vegan cookbooks: Going Raw is a feast for the eyes and mouth, VEgan Vengeance is solid and Eat, Drink and Be Vegan is another great one I found! So sweet to have been missed. I’m burning the candle at both ends, but seeing progress. I think my kids miss me though. Always a balance, huh? Hugs, Renee