Because all experiences are valuable.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A shallow pan and Deep thoughts

My life is a series of vacillations between the shallow and the deep. I like it that way. I could say- it's a balance of work and play. When I look at the friends I have who seem happy with their lives, they seem to have that in common, balance, I mean. Believe me I know I'm not introducing you to rocket science here.

It seems though, that those sorts of delineations between shallow and deep, or work and play, tend to take the joy out of work, and the inspirational out of play. Sort of brings on that "working for the weekend" mentality, in which five days of the week are mostly drudgery. Maybe you think about these things like I do sometimes. Right now I'm baking a chocolate cobbler, thinking thoughts, and writing to you.

One of my favorite things to do is, well, pay attention. Focus in on things. I enjoy the mental sensation of looking for the deep, or the joyous when I am doing something shallow and menial, like laundry, for instance. I think about how the clothes feel, the different fabrics, thickness, softness, etc. I think about the person who threaded the monster industrial loom that made the fabric, or the Chinese girl that sewed the seams. I'm not saying I always manage to do this, but when I do, I really enjoy it. It makes everything seem more interconnected, and more important somehow. Even when I am having raucous fun, you may notice me get oddly distracted or solemn for a moment, and then back into the moment, because something has struck me. Like the depth of the human beauty of a friend's hands as she gestures, or the sudden realization that this very moment will never happen again. It doesn't usually last long, but I like it. It gives me the feeling that I am actually living my life.

I have been talking about the non-resistance in Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth. I have his book The Power of Now, but I haven't read it. Too much of one line of thought is...too much at once for me. I need to read something trashy now. I even like teen novels. I will read absolutely anything, if it catches my interest. I don't know if the kind of thoughts I'm talking of are an example of "being present, " or something else. I just know my life is calmer, happier, and a kinder experience for me, when I look for the universal truths/inspirations/archetypes no matter what I am doing. If you see me gaze off for a moment when you are speaking to me, I sincerely doubt you have lost my interest. I am probably just recording for posterity the exact way your mouth moves when you say "margarita," or the way the tear at the inner corner of your eye makes you look like the Madonna in a Pieta.

In 1963, Dr. Richard Feynman, Nobel laureate in Physics for his work in Quantum Electrodynamics, gave a series of lectures in which he spoke his internal thoughts about religion, science, politics, and the human condition.At the time, this was unheard of for a scientist to do. He said so many brilliant things, I will probably quote him often. For today, this,"...it is almost impossible for me to convey in a lecture this important aspect, this exciting part, the real reason for science. And without understanding this you miss the whole point. You cannot understand science and its relation to anything else unless you understand and appreciate the great adventure of our time. You do not live in your time unless you understand that this is a tremendous adventure and a wild and exciting thing."

I feel blessed in a thousand ways, that I think like a scientist, and feel like a poet. It makes me weird, sometimes it makes me miserable, but it does make me alive. I wish you were all here to share the cobbler, and laugh with me that I didn't read the directions and mixed all the ingredients together, and had to toss it and start over. That's life.

Chocolate Cobbler
1 c self-rising flour
1/2 c sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 c milk
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 c packed brown sugar, mixed with
    1/4 c cocoa powder
1 3/4 c hot water

Mix flour, white sugar and 2 tbsp cocoa. Stir in milk and oil until smooth. Pour or spread in small greased baking pan. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top. Pour hot water over all, and do not stir. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
The cake will rise and the water and cocoa mix will form a fudge sauce in the bottom of the pan.  Especially easy and fun for kids to make- they are always surprised by what happens!
Of course, ice cream is a great addition. But none for me!


  1. That is one ugly cobbler and would require sniffing before eating...which I'm sure I would do. I'm with you on the cycle between light and heavy. I have a penchant for spy novels that are so forgettable that I can't name one of the scores I've read.

  2. That dessert looks amazing and gross at the same time. lol. I could eat chocolate every day.

    "I feel blessed in a thousand ways, that I think like a scientist, and feel like a poet."


  3. It IS a somewhat disconcerting - at first - dichotomy of textures. However, I found it so tasty that it took my only one late evening and one late breakfast time to eat it All. Every bit of it in 2 sittings.

    Keep in mind it IS a Cobbler, and what cobbler is like. This one just has chocolate instead of, say, blueberries. Tara is an Incredible Cook. She can take mud, spices, and mystery meat and create a 4 course meal that looks like it literally could be on the cover of a magazine. Grandma saying to always marry a woman who could cook doesn't even begin to cover the capabilities of this creative chef, as it were. Sow's ears into silk purses, literally. Oh, and she can sew like nobody's business; she's a costumer!

    Man, all of the science and physics and mind perceptions above, and I used my commentary up on chocolate cobbler!