Recipe for When You’re Grieving

Use a heavy-bottomed pan, a big one. Drop in some butter. Top and tail and peel sweet onions. Chop them slowly, and let yourself cry. Sweat the onions in the butter; add salt and pepper. Stir until everything is soft. Until you’re soft.

Trim leeks then half them, lengthwise. Cut them into infinite halfmoon ribbons of springtime green and drop them into a bowl of icy water. Rinse away the hidden grit. Let your hands get red and cold. Drain them well, and add them to the pan. Cook them down until their greenness has grown somehow brighter. Add mince of garlic. One spoon, two, three — four, if it moves you.

Stir and stir and breathe in. Head over the pot. Breathe. This is Delphi. You can find answers here, if you like.

Wash and cube waxen potatoes; add them to the butter and onions, stir until everything is glistening. Until you’re glistening.

Don’t you see? You’re making something with your hands.

Something in the world, something in life stole a piece of your heart, and you’re unlikely to get it back. That hole will consume everything until it finds enough to fill it — so help it along. Fill it with creation, with butter and onions and quiet acceptance that the salt of tears will flavor what you do, for awhile.

Cover the onions and leeks with vegetable stock. Put on the lid, and tidy up your space. You have time. Put the peels and the bits in the compost, to feed the garden. Put the tools in the sink, and wash the knives and boards.

Have a care for the sharp edges of knives, and a love for the round kindness of wooden spoons.

Wait, some. And stir, some. And wait a bit more.

When the potatoes are soft, mash a few, and pour in a heavy dose of milk or cream. More salt and pepper.

Put it in bowls, and share it with as many other people as it can feed. Gather them close, like stones around a fire, to hold in the heat. Warm your belly. Content yourself with a single thing sorted.

Let your body rest.

Nothing has changed in the world. The hole is still there. But something has changed in you. You have made something more than the sum of its parts, with determination and focus. You have filled yourself, at least a little.

What is grief, after all, but a hunger, an emptiness, aching to be filled?

Soup is warm, and life is too short to stay hungry.

About Catastrophe Jones

Wretched word-goblin with enough interests that they're not particularly awesome at any of them. Terrible self-esteem and yet prone to hilarious bouts of hubris. Full of the worst flavors of self-awareness. Owns far too many craft supplies. Will sing to you at the slightest provocation.
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One Response to Recipe for When You’re Grieving

  1. Trent Lewin says:

    Jones – hang in there. I feel your pain. Holes will be filled, but it takes time.

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