Friday, April 6, 2007

Miscellaneous Musings:Salwar Kameez, Fatigue, Cooking

I've been thinking about all sorts of seemingly unconnected things. Being tired, and how to handle it emotionally and spiritually. New recipes- I want to cook like mad, and being tired doesn't stop me. One of these days I'll just keel over in the kitchen. I'm trying new things- new foods, learning about new ideas, places, skills. And thinking about how maybe its time to face reality, whatever that is. All these thoughts rolling around in my head are my way of adapting to disablility- I push myself to the limit and don't give up unless my body just says no. Maybe that's not such a good idea, healthwise, but emotionally it works. I'm not sitting around feeling sorry for myself, I'm learning a lot, making good food for everybody, and in general becoming more eccentric by the minute, becoming fixated on whatever the new fun idea or pastime is.

Everyone here is sick of me talking about salwar kameez, but to me, they are fascinating. A whole new aesthetic to learn. Shapes, colors, patterns, all the different ways the same basic design can be altered without losing its essential character. A style of clothing so comfortable and practical and flattering it hasn't changed much in hundreds of years. I can spend hours just looking at them. Deconstructing their design. Designing my own. While I'm doing that, I'm not thinking about how tired I am, or that I have aches and pains. I'm in a whole different world.

Same thing with learning a new cuisine. It requires learning a new vocabulary, new taste combinations, new techniques, and in the case of desi khana, a whole new understanding of what and why we eat what we do. While I'm thinking about that, I'm not feeling sorry for myself. I''m thinking, if I keep at it, I'll figure it out. There isn't anything I can't make if I practice enough, and follow directions. I can do anything in the kitchen, given enough time and repetition. And I become so involved, I forget how tired I am and that my back hurts, and keep working at it until I get the new skill mastered. Then I'm surprised when I finally sit down and it all hits.

All of a sudden, one day I got the idea that we could go to India. So I started to look into it. New passion. I get lost in making plans, learning about places to visit, history, culture...and again, I don't feel sorry for myself or think about how bad I really feel. Am I well enough to go to India for a week? I have no idea, I don't think I'm well enough to do what I have been doing. I just do it anyway. In the process, I'm really living, instead of losing myself in daytime TV, or silly novels, or morose introspection.

Some might think I'm going from one obsession to another. Maybe I am. But look at the results. Its much better, in my opinion, to be a happy eccentric than to be a realist who lives within self-imposed limitations. Its when we are pushed hard, by ourselves or our circumstances that we find out what we are really capable of. And we are capable of far more than we think.

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