As I was making chocolate chip cookies with my son today, I thought of something so profound and deep — it barely surfaced.
At that precise moment when my three and three-quarters year old poured the baking powder into the blue bowl, I should have honored and listened to the Montessori urge to go write it down right then and there.
But I didn’t. I kept mixing, baking, and preparing our cookie dough.
I had spent the hour prior to this trying to engage my sick, moody, snow day cabin fevered son to bake with me. He was mad at me because I would not let him watch Phinius and Ferb — his current favorite cartoon (I really like it too). We (or rather I specifically) are trying to limit his TV watching to two hours a day. And two hours a day seems like too much as it is.
Back to my profound deep thought — it was right there ready to be measured out in perfectly proportioned words.
1 cup of prose
1/2 tsp of poetic phrasing
1/4 tsp truthful juice
1/8 tsp of heart based memory
1 stick of beauty
The words were perfect — so perfect I thought I’d remember them exactly for sure.
But I didn’t; I don’t.
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”
― Ernest Hemingway
I know what my one truth was — geez it was the first line of this darn book my ancestors have placed on my insecure shoulders and it was perfect.
Here’s the understudy’s attempt (the lead actress took another gig apparently): my grandmother taught me to cook when I was four. I don’t remember, but my bones do. When I cook with my son, I remember.
I don’t think there is a perfect way to write this story. It just has to be written. I have got lost in the research. There is just so much to say. I want to ask my grandmother so many questions that a thirty-nine year old would ask — an almost forty year old would ask. The thing is — I know one thing for sure, well actually two, maybe three:
1. My grandma loved me and I loved her.
2. You don’t get to ask your loved ones all the questions you will have.
3. You are left to wonder. And sometimes wonder is better than knowing.
I could hem and haw and stop right there. But the story wants to be told, so I will tell it best I can. I am telling it right now.
That is enough for today. The bones know. I am lucky to have had her in my life for the ten years I did. This love is baked into me. I may not remember our conversations, but I remember her perfume. I can still smell it. I remember her pajamas; I can feel them — she always wore silk. I remember her glasses; I touch them — they were pointy. I remember her legs; they were muscular — even for an old lady. She never crossed them at the knee, only the ankles — lady like.
Juney, you are my Valentine. I love you.
Recipe for Chocolate Chip cookies from Community Kitchen recipe notebook