homemaking: the creation of a home, especially as a pleasant place in which to live.
It's been awhile since I've been here. I'm still unemployed, job searching daily with plenty of unpaid activities keeping me busy. When the sun's out I'm reveling in this season and hopeful for the future. On the grey days #3 - #10 I feel listless and sometimes without direction, wondering what the hell I'm doing or not doing with my time.
Getting off the internet and into homemaking mode has proven to be a place of rejuvenation. And I'm really, really enjoying it. Mostly in the kitchen. R and I have hosted a number of people for dinner in these past weeks and months and last week we packed up a couple galettes, salad, and lava cakes and carted them over to a family with a new baby and sat around their table laughing and sharing stories until past all of our normal weekday bedtimes. I cook dinner once a month for my check-in with one of my mentors (and he buys me lunch out once a month - nice.) I'm learning about timing. I have developed unemployed time syndrome. Symptoms include thinking anything is possible, even in condensed amounts of time, because there is no job. I don't always leave myself enough time in the kitchen for everything I've planned to do and I've ruined a couple of pans in the past weeks. However, the overarching feeling is enjoyment and satisfaction. The timing will improve. I like going to the grocery during the week and sitting at the table for most meals. I like getting out a tablecloth and lighting candles. And the time in the kitchen is so centering and sensual. So gratifying to make applesauce out of an almost compost worth apple, cilantro pesto from leftover chili garnish, white bean rosemary dip just because I have everything already at home and it sounds good. Got me thinking recently that the people I visit in the jail have not experienced this in awhile and may never again; the process of creating something with my hands, tasting as I go, loving on all the colors, the warm smells coming from oven, listening to the whirring and the chopping and the bubbling on the stove, anticipating who I'm going to share it with and what conversations might occur across the table, holding R's hand at the seat next to me, talking while he does the dishes.
Some friends brought flowers with them a couple weeks ago and I spent some time the next day dividing the big bouquet into little bouquets around my apartment. The picture above is from the little vase in my bathroom. It's still there. Mums are hardy!
R and I are talking about moving in together. When the sun's out I spend a lot of time fantasizing about making a new home. I would say together, but that's a lie, I like to be in charge of the home front. So he's in the picture, but I'm doing the set up in my mind. I fantasize about a possibly larger than my current one butt kitchen, space to walk on both sides of the bed!, a bedroom door, more of "God's LIGHT" coming through non-north facing windows. I make believe that if we get a 1 bedroom apt. with a dining room in my current building that we'll turn the dining space into shared studio space since we're both project people and maybe they'll be a pull out couch for guests in the living area. Seeing each other regularly without having to plan it. It's already my job to keep his granola jar full, but right now he carts it back and forth in his backpack. I look forward to the possibility of seeing it our countertop.
On other days I'm honestly terrified. I'm irrationally afraid that I'll never be alone again. I feel safest alone, having a space of my own to retreat to, quiet and stillness. Do I really know who I am, how I really feel, and what I want enough to make this decision? In a lot of ways I feel I'm just now shedding more shells and I'm not always sure what I'm going to find underneath. Someone else's life is affected my choices too.
Scared self, I won't abandon you, but I want to grow.
I don't know why, but I was trying to take a picture of my glow in the dark Mary the other night. The pictures just turned out black. I took one with my nightstand light on and kept it. I look at it now and see Mary, the Light, the alarm clock blackened out - comforting me that there is no rush, and the title of another's story Without a Map, which is how I feel at time's these days. Reminding myself that it's not about how I think I should feel, but how I do feel.
I've been on nine informational interviews so far. I've got another one this week and handful in the weeks ahead. I just spent the last two full weekends on the facilitators team for the winter Shanti volunteer training. I loved it and am quite tired. I felt acutely tender and grateful both quiet Sunday mornings walking to training. The training couldn't have come at a better time for me personally. Thank you, Shanti. What an enjoyable privilege.