To speak about something as prosaic as pasta salad seems downright ho-hum. I mean. It’s just a pasta salad. It’s something I tossed together with stuff I had on hand. I hadn’t planned on it. I didn’t spend days contemplating the ins and outs and quirks of gluten-free penne. In fact, if I’m being unabashedly honest here I rarely think about food at all.
Until I’m hungry.
Until those familiar, nagging pangs begin gnawing their pesky little way into my consciousness, distracting me from my preferred, visual nomenclature- which rarely includes anything edible.
I daydream about painting in the Rockies, the plight of bees, and walking low tide on Brewster Flats. I notice the temperature of light and the curve of negative space against a jar of old spoons. I think about expectations and illusions and perceptions. I ponder where my soul is taking me, tugging at me to pay attention to my life, inviting me through dreams and the random snippets of music or ideas or theories that skitter and skate and ripple the mental stream I wade in day after day, to consider time itself- if I believe in it- sliding by in a cool constant flow of now.
I rarely eat breakfast. I often forget lunch. And dinner time always surprises me. As if each day takes figuring out all over again how to (****ing) live (to paraphrase the Deadwood Zen master David Milch).
This doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate good food.
Or that I hate to cook (well, some days I am less than enthusiastic).
I loathe junk food and processed food. I can’t take credit for this- it’s simply the way I’m built, the way my body so pointedly rejects any easy, packaged fix.
Even before I discovered gluten intolerance and FODMAPs I knew on some instinctual level that in order to keep this body of mine healthy and strong for the here and now I have to pay it some attention.
I know I have to eat.
And eat consciously.
And so I find myself rummaging in the little white painted cupboard that is my pantry.
And I find a box of gluten-free penne.
In the fridge I locate a fistful of spring asparagus.
A few sprigs of dill, marjoram, parsley and mint.
The rest is history.
Now in my belly.
Fuel for instigating thoughts of rebirth, fragility, and the particular pink that is ranunculus.