Friday, April 15, 2011

Craving the Tangible

I found myself cooking swiss chard at 7:30 last night.
It was a last minute recipe find, a craving to make something, create something tangible. I have often found myself with a recurring urge for such things since I began teaching.

Teaching is a beautiful, messy labor that rarely leaves one with tangible results. Thus I find myself cooking, cleaning, quilting, and creating into the evenings to enjoy a few moments of working with my hands, pondering the quiet, and ending up with a finite, physical result: fruit from my labor.

There was little that made sense about the venture: making a pie crust after seven at night, enjoying a steaming slice of goodness after 8:30 while basking in the lingering sunlight coming through the window. I was secretly hoping that Curtis would call from the hospital to tell me that he wasn’t busy, that yes—he would love for me to bring a fresh, beautiful quiche to the hospital for him and his colleagues to enjoy as they head into another night of work.

But the phone call didn’t come.

Instead, I served myself one, then two pieces of pie, lingering over the steaming concoction and wondering why I don’t spend more time cooking and less time completing dull tasks like opening the mail and emptying the dishwasher and grading papers.

I suppose everything has its place, and my place has felt empty all week.

It doesn’t matter that I know that Curtis has been sleeping at home while I am away at work, our condo occupied more than usual as we exchange habitats within an hour or two of each other, flipping from our day to night shifts.
It doesn’t matter that dishes magically move from the sink to the dishwasher, from dishwasher to cupboard in my absence.
It doesn’t matter that I often find handwritten notes in our book awaiting my arrival after a long day of work, or that half the quiche will surely be gone when I get back this evening.

He has not been here. And even though evidence of our shared existence is a comfort, sometimes tangible is what you need.

Thank goodness the weekend has finally arrived.

1 comment:

  1. Mmmmmmm.... Quiche!! ;)

    That first pictures looks suspiciously like my lunch today though!