Sunday, November 28, 2010

stream of food consciousness

I live with three really wonderful people. I could make a list almost the length of a Dostoyevsky novel about why they are so great, and at the top of the list would be their food. Each one is so different in how they approach food and what they choose to make -- but when one of them is cooking, I try my darndest not to snack and am sure I'll be satisfied at the end of the night. I also hope for leftovers.

I try not to pick favorites. Still, I have them: S. is from south India and makes amazingly spicy curries and dahl that leave my lips a little tingley -- just the way I like them. None of her recipes are on paper, so it's my goal while I'm still living with her to get them down, or at least to learn the technique and spice blends. So I linger in the kitchen when she's cooking. Last night while making dahl she lamented that she never gets it like her mom's. She says her mom says the same thing of her own mother's cooking. Why is it that our mother's dishes are so elusive? My mom makes a killer lasagna. In fact, my first ever "food essay" was about her lasagna -- fourth grade, and I used the thesaurus like it was the best thing since sliced bread. There was also a first novel attempt in the fourth grade, again with gratuitous thesaurus usage, that included the phrase "veritably distressed." But this is about food, not the thesaurus (that love letter might come another day.) Anyway, my mom's lasagna -- always loved it, still do. But for the life of me I've never been able to get it like hers. I figure maybe it's better that way. It's like my roommates' food: It's her territory, it's part of the reason I love her, and it gives me all the more reason to go home.

Friday, November 26, 2010

learning the art of revision

As I was trying out blog titles, I googled "revision" and found this:
Revision literally means to "see again," to look at something from a fresh, critical perspective. It is an ongoing process of rethinking the paper: reconsidering your arguments, reviewing your evidence, refining your purpose, reorganizing your presentation, reviving stale prose. (via here)
I like the idea of a re-do, of the draft. Second chances (and third and fourth) are what lives well-lived are built on. I'm more convinced every day. The purpose of this blog isn't to get it perfect, but to learn the art of revision.

*****

I have hopes for this blog.

One: The writing and subject matter won't become self-absorbed. The content will be shared from personal values and interests and experiences. But it will be something people can relate to, find new (or revisited) truth in, can find their own story in.

Two: I'll write more as a result. I'll work on style, try things out, play a little.

Welcome. Won't you help me revise?