Of course, "she" is me, and it's still a very rustic pie, but that's by intention, rather than -- as in last week's effort -- due to a pastry that failed to cohere but was quite happy to adhere to the aluminium foil resorted to in the absence of parchment paper. We found that at the local grocery store -- Papier à Cuisson -- and it made the whole project so much more manageable that I think one more try (at least!) is in order. I'm thinking this time that toasted chopped hazelnuts sprinkled across the apples at that centre opening might make a pretty, tasty garnish, that an egg wash would deliver a more golden crust. And we loved the pie with a sharp brébis last night ("Apple Pie without some cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze" my dad always insisted), but I would also like a piece à la mode, so will be keeping an eye out for some vanilla ice cream. . .
Some of you, I apologise, will already have seen this on Instagram. I just felt a strong need to redeem myself here as well. . . Kidding, yes, but I did think you were invested enough in my efforts that I should catch you up. The continuing saga of Mater's baking efforts. . . Oh, the drama!
More seriously, thank you so much for your reassurance and encouragement in response to my current slight impatience with my blog, as mentioned in Friday's post. As I think about it now, I realise that I chose precisely the correct word when I typed "impatience," and perhaps the answer is as simple as taking away that prefix. I will admit that I've been fairly goal-oriented all my life, although my husband will tell you (and he'll probably roll his eyes) that it takes some prodding for me to admit achievements.
The first year of my retirement I seem to have filled with preparing our home for the market, then selling it, buying another, moving into an interim home for the summer, and then finally, just last month, moving into our new place. And now I've launched us into an extended stay far from home, where we're taking language lessons and baking pies and traveling to Berlin and Paris and braving yoga classes and cycling 55 kilometres in a day. When we relax at the end of the day, eating our dinner in front of Netflix on my MacBook Air, we're "relaxing" with French TV. I try to alternate an escape mystery novel with something more "worthwhile." I remind myself to add a page to my Illustrated Journal.
|Another shopper at the local weekly outdoor market|
And honestly, everything I've listed above is something that brings me much pleasure. And I will get much pleasure, much satisfaction, when I eventually begin writing more posts that express something more of what I'm thinking, rather than simply what I'm seeing or experiencing. As much as I hugely appreciated your reassurances that what I'm posting these days is enough, I want, for my own self, to write the occasional more introspective post, to think out loud on the page.
But when I go back and read that word "impatience," I somehow trigger the memories of a few friends who have reminded me that major moves are, well, major. That perhaps I could be patient (a-ha!) with myself.
So I'm going to relax a bit, since I clearly already have your permission and understanding, and fill posts with photos I want to share. Every once in a while, I'll follow an urge and write a more (too?) introspective post such as this one is shaping up to be. And eventually, perhaps, the stuttering attempts will begin to cohere, and I'll see a path I want to follow. For now, perhaps, it's okay just to feel a bit lost. I really must get Rebecca Solnit's A Field Guide to Getting Lost out of the library again, as soon as I get back, but meanwhile, I've been waiting for ages (well, months, anyway) to share with you this quotation from Jhumpa Lahiri's In Other Words (about which, I wrote earlier)
Lahiri says (as translated by Ann Goldstein), of the process of changing,
One could say that the mechanism of metamorphosis is the only element of life that never changes. The journey of every individual, every country, every historical epoch, of the entire universe and all it contains, is nothing but a series of changes, sometimes subtle, sometimes deep, without which we would stand still. The moments of transition, in which something changes, constitute the backbone of all of us. Whether they are a salvation or a loss, they are the moments that we tend to remember. They give a structure to our existence. All the rest is oblivion.I'm not convinced Lahiri is right in this, at least not in her dismissal of "all the rest." Certainly, she's justifying a preoccupation with her own huge transition to speaking, then writing, exclusively in Italian. But when I read this passage several months ago, I found it a powerful recognition of the metamorphosis I felt/feel myself going through recently: aging more noticeably, retiring, moving to the city.
And I'm remembering that for many creatures undergoing metamorphosis, some period of patience is required, of stillness. Perhaps part of this, for me, might just be looking, walking, taking photos, sharing them. . . .
(I have to laugh, because while one part of me writes this post ending, so zen, right? so reasonable, even approaching some kind of wisdom. . . another part is jumping up and down to catch the writer's attention. This Other Self is making a list and insisting that I "tell them you're planning a post about the Ten Weeks, One Carry-On project, with all those outfit photos, okay?" and "are you going to tell them you have those photos of the really cool murals all up the sides of that vacant building?" and "I thought you were going to write a post about." So my patience is obviously a work in progress. . . .)
Two bloggers currently thinking about the Metamorphosis that arrives with our 60s are very much worth reading. Lisa's questions about life post-60 evoke a range of rich responses from readers (Whoa! Alliteration) and Elizabeth has written another post in her marvellous series about The Year of Being Sixty-Two. Before you rush off to read those, I'd welcome any comments you care to leave here. If none, that's fine as well, and let me wish you all a Happy Hallowe'en (if ever a time to think Metamorphosis. . . )