Years ago, after a very intense and bad breakup, I began the most intense and constant period of writing I’ve ever done. But it was all in a journal, and I was using it to suss out my own mind. Which means, there is no way in all the nine hells that anyone will ever get to see any of it.
But that’s the only way to dig to the truth sometimes – to get the rawest words down on paper, to look at the content of your own heart and mind in black and white. And sometimes the only way to get to it is to promise yourself it will be kept that secret.
A bit like cooking, really – before you can turn what you’re cooking into a dish, you sometimes need to lay the ingredients all out on the counter and give them all a good look to see what you’ve got. Trim away some of the bruised or mushy bits. Make sure the bits are all right before you start cooking.
And sometimes getting the ingredients requires some dirty work – digging way down deep into the soil for things like carrots or potatoes. And it’s trickier this time of year – things have been growing a good long time, they’ve gotten much bigger and gotten a good hold inside the earth. Digging them out takes more work and they’re dirty and funny-looking when you finally unearth them (as are you, usually).
But – it’s ironic, isn’t it, that the dishes you make with potatoes are the most comforting? That long hard work and that dragging that ugly thing out above ground pays off in something that comforts you and makes you feel better. The work is always worth it.
….I realize I’ve gotten a bit short of words in here the past few days. Let’s just say that I’ve been digging some potatoes.