I just renewed http://www.apolloandme.com for another year. Despite the infrequency of my posts here, I feel like I need to keep this empty text box and blinking cursor at the ready, waiting for me. I find myself drawn to written word and I find comfort in simply knowing this space is here, and its my own, if the cosmos are so aligned for me to share.
I started apolloandme at a lonely time. The end of one career, and the world as my oyster, as they say. Since graduating high school, friends and profound connections had been eluding my grasp, and I never quite came to grips with that, even after four years of practice. As something of a social butterfly my entire life, I found myself unfamiliar and out of sorts in this backwards caterpillar stage.
I found calm and quiet focus by stepping into my kitchen in my empty apartment, empty save for Apollo and me. I felt the lingering, steady spirit of my grandmother as I baked from her Challah recipe, and that of our departed friend on my birthday as a Ricotta curdled in a pot on my stove. As I grew to know and love so many other blogs, and as I recreated their recipes, I felt so, not-alone. For the first time in so many years, I felt something present with me that was there when I needed it to be. When I needed a friend, I simply opened my ever expanding recipe binder and picked one. I look back now and realize how these women saved me without my knowing it then.
I’m fighting back tears as I ponder my blessings tonight. 2013 has brought such a transformation that I can hardly recognize myself and my life. But as it turns out, this new person looking back at me in the mirror, as I rub my eyes to be certain I’m seeing clearly, is someone I knew for so long and just lost somehow, somewhere. I stand before you having emerged from a chrysalis and soaring on this high I just cannot articulate.
I can tell you as I sit here at this keyboard that there is something out there worth believing in. I don’t know what it’s called, if its a who or a what, if its something you can touch, or has a sound. But I know I’m connected to it in a powerful way and I feel it in every fiber of my being, down into the deepest depths of my soul, pouring out my fingertips as I write this. Its there, here, always. If I had to guess, I’d say its just love, man. It is ever present, you know. Physically manifested into you and me and everything we see and feel and touch and everything we don’t. What an incredibly grounding thing to believe in.
Sadness is so fleeting. Johnny’s brother once said to me that “..happiness and sadness do not exist, only happy and sad moments do…” and while that meant something heavy when he said it to me five years ago, reflecting on it now brings me overwhelming peace. Can a life be defined in sadness? Or even happiness? Or any of those one word emotional phrases that you could try to squeeze your entire being into?
No, it can’t. Because love is so deeply rooted in us all. These emotions are so temporary, so wonderfully impermanent. We feel them and relate to them as long as we want or need and then we have the remarkably liberating choice to set them free. It is so, so good to be free.
I wish I could reach out and hug every person who has shared a bit of themselves with me, here. Those who read what I had to say, those who let me into their kitchens, who let me bring them into mine without knowing how desperately I needed their companionship, even when I was just making scones. It is no small thing to open yourself up to the world, to be vulnerable, to let people become part of you and you of them. Simply printing out a recipe and loving its pages, watching as they become dog-eared and covered in batter, wrapped in my apron and side-by-side with the author of that list of ingredients. Not alone.
apolloandme is here, almost a year old without many recipes to show for itself, but I realize now that it wasn’t about that. As much as I care deeply about my relationship with food and where it comes from and how it serves my body and my life (nutritional healing will likely shape my career in some form), I started apolloandme on a day where I just needed someone to talk to, and thus my grandmother emerged on an old piece of paper, in a warm loaf of bread.
See that? There’s that love thing, again.
om shanti shanti shanti.
“Then Sunrise kissed my Chrysalis —
And I stood up — and lived —”
- Emily Dickinson