There have been some changes around here. For starters, I finally bought the domain name. This makes me feel as if my project and purpose here are somehow more defined, and therefore, significant.
I’ve spent many long minutes sitting with the base of my skull against the top of my office chair, trying to define my purpose. Trying to chisel out a dream.
Most of my dreams are so un-American. Like, one day I hope I’ll come to terms with the depths of my selfishness and insecurity, and perhaps, forgive myself for unproductive years of self-loathing. Or, one day I hope I am so humbly invested in work with the poor that I am not even aware I am greatly invested in work with the poor.
I don’t think much about money, and I don’t mention it because I am proud, I just happened to grow up in a fortunate situation where no one asked me to think about it. That gave me the skewed-but-faithful perspective that money will come when it’s needed, and as long as I’ve been willing to live simply, it always has. It may not always, but so far it has.
So I don’t associate dreams with money. But I do associate them with success, that is, in hope I can lay down my preconceived notions of success to fully inherit the authentic results of an achieved dream. Because I feel sure it won’t look as I think.
I just have one big dream, really. I want to open and run a retreat center.
It fuels the things I read and learn. It shapes the way I cook and clean and keep house. When my skull’s against my chair, I imagine the land, the veins in each leaf. I think about it all the time without really thinking about it, rooted down in the plasma of my heart, kind of like family if you’ve moved away from home; always there, even out of sight.
I’ve said before that I’m afraid of settling. Comfort and pleasure are not synonyms, as I might have much of one and little of the other in any season. I might get used to coming to the same office, to seeing the same mostly-glad faces; I might grow comfortable with the benefits of vacation and medical care, but still abhor the assignment.
When I started this blog, I needed a place to keeping writing. I needed some direction in the long, restless days of administrative work. I needed to stay focused. But my focus has been unclear. I’ve whined and prayed and floated through the plight of every twenty-something woman that doesn’t want to be a teacher or lawyer or nurse. I’ve felt guilty, idle and useless.
But it’s been looming there, making me shifty and fearful at the possibility. Testing me and begging me to listen. I think I’ve tried to crush the dream for reasons of impracticality. Financial nonsense. Arduous work. No benefits. Who would come anyway?
And yet, I suppose I’ve reached a reckoning with myself.
I can start taking the dream seriously. I can start plotting and practicing. Or I can watch it split away like a wafty cloud, as dreams often take a splitting, wafty nature if we let them.
The fulfilling of dreams is a choice and a process as all things in life. That’s a phrase I hear frequently in the company I keep, “It’s a process.” We say it to remind ourselves that no results worth having come in a count of days, but months and years.
I want to manage food and wellness at the retreat center. I want to be the gardener, healer, and cook. I want to keep the place tidy and make it beautiful. In my passion, I already pursue these things, but when I’ve thought about changing jobs, people asked, “Well what do you want to do?” and I responded with a crooked smile and shrug, while all along I poured over old-world recipes and wisdom. All the while I wondered over the symmetry in my living room and how, exactly, to create a space of peace.
I want to grow food and make it delicious. I want to turn weak bodies strong. I want to cultivate a place of comfort, compassion and tranquility, close to the land and laws of Creation.
Sometimes we just need to know what we want, because the hardest part is how to start.
MUSHROOM + KALE FRITTATA
Melt 1 tbsp fat on medium heat in a large frying pan or skillet.
Toss in first 6 ingredients, stirring and simmering until the mushrooms release their juices and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Crack eggs in a bowl and whisk together with milk or water.
Season the vegetables with oregano, turmeric, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
Add remaining 1 tbsp fat to the vegetables and allow it to melt.
Add eggs, covering all the vegetables and filling the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat, cover and cook until the top is firm.
Top with tomato and avocado!
Happy cooking. May patience guide you.