Spaghetti, Meatballs & Mindfulness…

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“I’m choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.”
Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat, Pray, Love

Last night I was a little low in myself. I haven’t felt well for days with a pretty nasty skin thing going on and I just haven’t been able to get a handle on things until late yesterday. This rashy business comes after a prolonged period of feeling angsty or doing the bipolar and it went from kind of there to full blown in a matter of days. I took a long shower, administered a healing balm, and took a long nap with the pugs. When I got up I hemmed and hawed around after feeding them, and then I realized it was one of those nights that I needed honest to goodness comfort food, and I had purchased some organic, grass fed ground beef the day before. I looked up an easy recipe for meatballs and baked a tray of them in the oven. (I used the rolled oats instead of the bread crumbs.)

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While the meatballs were baking I cooked a pot of spaghetti and then tossed it with vodka spaghetti sauce, something I had never had until someone gifted me with a couple of jars after my fire, and it is now just about my favorite sauce ever. The spaghetti was ready just as the meatballs came out of the oven…

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The finished product is at the top of the page and the pugs each got a meatball. They were just all blissy over their meatballs and were sure if they just bopped me with their wee noses or curly tails I would give them more. Alas, I held firm for their sake. (Just as I had to with the spaghetti for mine!)

There is something so lovely about sitting down to a home-cooked meal when it is not microwaved — so easy these days especially if you are just cooking for one — and is savory, and comforting.

“First we eat, then we do everything else.”
M.F.K. Fisher

After dinner I paged through my work for the next issue of Pastiche. I have had a few days of not working on it as I have been under the weather and when you take time off it can be hard to get back. Thank God for the spaghetti and meatballs. Well fed, good food, I started to feel human again and not just a mess of rashes hither and yon, and I smiled at the pages in my hands. I gathered them to my chest with delight and tenderness. I, too, am allowing the unknown future to flood into my present and show me the way. Making this zine is a delight, constant surprises, and more than anything an act of faith. Faith that it will come in the way that I hope it to. So far, it has.

Just now I have come to my desk after having a warmed over plate of the spaghetti and meatballs. It is raining outside and the temperatures are dropping. I am sitting here writing to you with books, notebooks, and my big over-sized journal filled with art around me, as well as art supplies, and the makings of Pastiche pages. This is my life, my chosen life, and I feel deeply blessed. I am also currently listening to Elizabeth Gilbert read her new book Big Magic ~ Creative Living Beyond Fear and it is just wonderful. These things feed the soul and shore one up as well.

I wish you could hear what I hear in this room. Little puggies with full bellies are snoring their puggery snores and it is so sweet. I am dabbing essential oils here and there and leaning into my diffuser to take in the sweet fragrance of a blend of lavender and rosemary with a hint of bergamot and blood orange. I am wearing an essential oil blend called Joy to lift my spirits and it really works.

I realize in writing this piece that it is very ordinary. There is nothing here to move mountains or urge one to action. It is simply the moments of a day, and, to that end, are very special indeed. I am coming back to the practice of mindfulness which seems to have slipped away during a rough patch and when it goes so does any equanimity I might have mustered. Making my spaghetti and meatballs last night was pure bliss because I was absolutely in the moment as I was cooking, and eating, and sharing with the pugs, and tidying up. I have been moving slowly but more steadily through this day, holding each moment to my heart before letting it go, thanking God for each bless’ed thing along the way.

I have just been doing my breathing exercises to the rhythm of my tickety-tocking wall clock, and I am relaxed and at peace. Another day is coming to a close here in the studio and the pugs and I will go watch tv and cuddle. I am living each day as fully as I can, all of a piece, so as to make way for the future to usher in all the surprises it has in store. I am choosing happiness over suffering even though both are present, currently, in equal measure. We can always choose. I choose this.

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Comments

  1. Ah…”first we eat”…YES. I swear I could smell the meatballs and hear the pugs snore. You chose happiness when you popped those meatballs in the oven. And we can choose happiness reading your words.

  2. Paula Brown says:

    Thank you for turning me back toward what attracted me in the beginning — the goal of mildfulness. Lots of things have gotten in the way. I’ve lost a couple of my sweet ferrets. The increasing drama of the relationship (which was never the best in the first place) with my mother in law really derailed me. Kinda affected the relationship with the most wonderful understanding husband a gal could have. There have been weeks of loss of motivation and lack of energy. Derailed for sure. I’ve realized that the Pastiche reminds me much of your earlier “love letters.” I’m beginning to want to feel whole again and that’s a great beginning.. I’ve dug out the journal again- abandoned for many many weeks. Haven’t done much with it but it’s where I see it daily and dabble a little. I’ve immersed myself in the lovely textures and colors of fabric, sewing again after a long hiatus. I’m quite sure the depression and anxiety is easing a lot and soon will be a memory. Yes, thank you.

  3. Estelle Keribin says:

    beautiful

  4. dig that turquoise plate!
    we just had spaghetti too
    synchronized comfort

    we made ours with fresh picked chanterelle mushrooms that grow in myer’s park!
    DELISH! and our own fresh basil — and a jar of Gia Russa (lovely lady on label)
    artichoke pasta sauce.

    sending autumn love to you, brave and tender lass!

    xo
    ka

  5. Valerie Hathaway says:

    Yes, spaghetti is a comfort food for me, too…so much so that my mother stopped making it after I left home because I asked for it so much. I make a heftier and more flavorful version of the sauce now. I save it in little 1-cup containers in case I want to savor it again. It’s been a crazy week and I’m looking forward to some down time, though I’m a lot happier now than I’ve been in months.

  6. Because there are many ways to nourish ourselves…. looks so yummy I am inspired to make some for myself this weekend.
    Sending hugs and time for a changing of the seasons.

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