Tuesday, February 26, 2008

leaving marks

I made pot roast last night. Pioneer Woman gives instructions for a basic pot roast that will knock your socks off. The king told me my version* was as good as either of the two incredible meals we had at very expensive French restaurants while recently in the capitol city of a small, well-known EU country!

I was suitably chuffed. . . .

I made the pot roast in my copper oval pot - a wedding present. Not that any one person dished out the money for such an extravaganza! But enough people - facing the lack of a wedding registry - determined that a gift card from William Sonoma was just the thing, that I ended up with a sizable credit balance with that cooking store. I didn't want to lose recognition of the special status of the Wedding Gift by just buying a bunch of random (but needed) stuff at William Sonoma, so I decided to splurge on a copper pot.

Well and good, until someone dropped the lid, and somehow it got gouged or scraped or something - all I know is that there's a big, ugly mark on one side of the handle.

I was pretty upset.

Then I remembered my dad, mad as hell at my dog, who'd blissfully tromped through a patch of cement carefully troweled smooth over a bit of walkway that had needed repair for a longish time. My dad stood there for a moment, and then shook his head.

"You know?" he said to me, "One day I'll be glad the boy walked through that cement. I'll be glad to look at those paw prints and remember this day. And I'll be sorry I was ever mad at him, because I'll see that mark, and be glad to remember him. . . ." [yeah, yeah, yeah. . . . break to wipe away the trite little crocodile tears]

BUT, it really has served to make me stop and think about the marks and bumps we all leave as we bounce off one another and the world we live in. From the theological perspective, that would be considered the price we have to pay for living in a "fallen" world. . . . You know: Adam and Eve and all that.

All I can say is that I find it a much easier way of dealing with the inevitable marks and scars that just happen with life. And just as I'm happy to see "the boy's" paw prints in the cement - and him gone now, these 5 years - I am learning to look at the marred copper lid affectionately, and wonder just how it is that our housekeeper manages such controlled mayhem in such a tiny frame. . . .

And then there's the dissertation with so many marks made and left by so many different people, books, thinkers, nay-sayers, and my encounters with them and others as I made my way through the time it took to assemble it all. In a way, it's like the herbes de proph├Ęte described in the footnote below.


*Note: your efforts will likely be different, as you won't be using my own homegrown herbs - the current batch of herbes de proph├Ęte - a unique concoction each year, even if it does make the attempt to follow after the tried and true Herbes de Provence tradition. . . . (not to mention that soil, water and sun conditions vary from garden to garden, and all those things - and the love and 'sweet nothings' added by the gardener - really do translate into a unique taste)

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