I feel like I’ve been awkwardly bumbling about here the last few weeks. Stalling. Filling the white space up with words that I can justify clicking the publish button with, but void of the kind of truth or vulnerability that I usually challenge myself to share in this space. It’s all part of the process, though. I think. I hope. Still learning what it means to be on the web like this.
While it excites me that there actually people (like you) who tune in each week to this nook, it is also sort of presses on that weak spot in my psyche that is constantly egging on to “be perfect.” Ugly business. You know, the virus of “should be, should say, should do” that holds us all back from being our best, truest possible selves. Every so often when I get down to business writing here, I get stuck on an idea where it’s like, rats, I can’t say that or I can’t talk about this because I don’t want to offend or upset someone. There is a quiet nagging voice warning: “must be poised, must be calm, must be wise, must not ruffle too many feathers.” And okay, to a certain degree the conscientiousness is good – even necessary. The world would be a much nicer place if we all just learned to check ourselves now and then when we have an outrageously passionate thought. But too much editing, filtering, and accommodating makes me feel like a robot.
Yet, as it were, this week I did not feel calm. I did not feel rational. I did not feel yogic. So many things that made me want to light the kitchen on fire, really. There was not a stable emotion to cling to for more than a few hours as I boomeranged between elation, empowerment, anger, sadness, frustration, confusion, joy, and crushing heartbreak. I chopped off 10 inches of hair on Tuesday with unabashed lightness, yet on Friday my chest was so heavy with sorrow for all the suffering, depravity, and cruelty of this world that I could barely stand as Shaun held me in his arms. A mess I tell you; imagine me later over a cutting board shouting “Society, Society!” at the top of my lungs with a clenched fist of radishes just like Eric McAndless from the film Into The Wild when an article on Texas abortion laws push it all over the edge. Crazy person, crazy.
I have a food blog. We take pretty pictures and share healthy recipes. That’s nice. Sweet. But on the other side of the editing table is an intense passion for “stuff” other than vegetables that floods my veins with purpose, intention, and deep conviction. The perfection trap can’t even put up a fight today because right now my heart is too swollen, my spirit soggy with the weight of a million weary voices and divisive ideologies that I alone cannot bring together or make better. There is a lot I really, really don’t understand about the world right now. I’ll keep kicking here, but it’s hard to profess my great love for salad in this state.
So I suppose I’ll stall a bit more. Stalling with grace, hopefully. It’s what I’m holding onto through all of this and I think you should too, whatever it is you see in the world, your world, that concerns you. Grace is everywhere in everything. Grace during moments of distress. Grace for times of great joy. Grace through the angst. Grace in failure. Grace for the good fight. Grace for the radish-rants in the kitchen. Grace for the people and ideas and things we don’t understand. Lets just have some grace, sound good?
Greens, Herbs, and Roasted Radishes
- 3 bunches of radishes
- 1 head butter lettuce
- 1 head romaine
- 6 endives
- 1 avocado
- juice of 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup shallot, minced
- 2 tbsp dill, minced
- 2 tbsp mint, minced
- (optional) smoked salmon
Rinse and remove greens from radishes. Halve or quarter (depending on the variety you go with) and coat with olive oil and salt and pepper on a heavy baking sheet. Roast in a 400′ oven for 20-25 minutes until blistered but not totally browned. Set aside to cool.
Combine chopped butter lettuce, romaine, and endive (cores removed) in a large bowl. Slice and dice avocado into cubes over the bowl, then add chunks of salmon (optional) and the cooled radishes. For the dressing: whisk together olive oil, shallots, dill, and mint with the lemon juice in a small bowl. Pour over the salad, add some sea salt and fresh pepper, and toss with your hands or wood tongs.
(ps) I’m giving away books on Facebook this week. Just because I feel like it. Hop on over to get in on the party.