here i go again.
I have mostly been out in it. summer, that is. there was an amazing float making experience, followed by a parade (best day evaha), nights out with friends, discovering rug hooking, a continued love affair with the city of San Francisco, a gaggle of new projects, the picking of blueberries, midnight margaritas, a broken heart, moonlight gardening, spectacular sunsets, and as always pining for my ocean. additionally, the sun continues to shine, much to my amazement. I am left a with nothing but my unadulterated love for it, and my ridiculous plan to stuff bits and pieces into mason jars to save for the long winter ahead. Life continues to swells into emotion, color, and magic as I listen to that sweet, glowy, frog-song summertime lullaby. and I'm already starting to miss it. I'm caught up between daydreaming about wrapping up sticky weeks staying on this patch of earth ~ you couldn't make me leave if you tried. and frantically planning a vacation ~ I need to get away and I want to see my ocean- wishing it within an inch of my life. hoping to leave someone else to fall asleep under the delicious heaviness of air that blows through my open windows for a short while.
thinking back I see sun and rain, dirt and grass. I can see it, but I'm not sure I was actually there. Not sure I even smelled the roses. There were times I struggled to resist the love. Lashed out at everything new ~ everything new to me. I was waiting for everyone to get with the program. waiting for my heart to push all of its baggage into the very middle, freeing space for love that I never knew I needed. I have collected my tears in a bottle, and I was surprised to see what I was holding in my hands is the recipe for forever. I never knew it called for a bottle of tears. I never knew I could learn so much from watching. listening. feeling. living. It feels right to pay attention now ~ to this summer, to my life. Before. I know that sounds kinda final and dramatic, maybe even a bit sad and possibly even apocalyptic (dun dun DUUNNNN), but I don’t mean it that way. I just mean that it feels good to be in the middle of so much, and to pause and look around. Because I know everything can look different soon. Change in the span of a breath.
The rest of this summer, I'll reach up. over and over and over again. I will hoist it up. My arms have memorized the dimensions of a hug. My heart wonders what it ever did without this weight.
But in between my carting it around, I will smile.
I will be pulled this way and that and as the season slips a bit more from view, my heart will sing and I will let out a long slow breath. I will drive somewhere with no particular destination in mind. the minute I step outside, my senses will come alive. the air will smell vaguely like roses and roasted peanuts, sweet and sour and so familiar. I will be surrounded by people and sounds and something inside me will scream for it all to slow le heck down! and I will feel intoxicated. I will have every intention of letting the days just unfold. but could the unfolding please include a trip to the farmer's market. could the unfolding also include a trip to the ocean? a few birthdays, celebrated with more smiles than tears. drooling over new boots in New York? meeting friends for dinner? getting reacquainted with my camera? and a museum or gallery or two or three? and a winery? and days with more laughter than tears.
I won't think about how guilty I'll feel about wanting to have this time to myself. I won't think about how much I miss them. I know it will be there, that uneasy feeling-- a combination of worry and fear and guilt. I'm pretending that I won't cry when the leaves start to turn. that I won't clench my eyes together over and over until the threat of tears is gone and I am calm. and right now, I'm not thinking about how deep the fog can get. I'm trying not to think about how sick I am of cleaning up messes, small messes, monumental messes that keep regenerating like an amateur science experiment gone horribly wrong. I'm trying to forget the comment that hurt just a bit too much. I'm trying not to think about how tired I am. I'm trying to ignore the fact that it's lunch time and I'm still in my pajama pants. that my hair is misbehavin'. I'm trying to pretend that this trip I am dreaming of will happen, soon. I'm trying to pretend I don't feel this way deep down inside. but I do. sometimes.
Yesterday I wanted to time travel back, just for one day, and live that life. Slam that green locker shut. Slide my hand along the slick wooden banister. Giggle in the lunch line. Eat french fries and real coca cola. I wanted to pass notes. Have a crush. Learn a little more. wear funky clothes. Its true, I've always been a stripes with floral kind of girl. In a previous life I've been known to rock a pin striped suit with heels ala J Crew, but honestly, not really me. I've always secretly wished that Stevie Nicks would give me her cast offs. Or I could wear one of the swoony outfits Goldie never tires of peddling. There's a mile-wide streak of fashion (I use the word fashion loosely) hodgepodge in me. It makes my world go round. It causes me to cock my head a little to the side and reconsider what at first glance looks a bit... accidental. Mistaken. Just plain wrong. I like a reminder that it's all, that the tattered and torn elevates the boring to chic and the just-fine to drop-your-jaw fantastic.
Make my life a patchwork quilt, please. Make it the postage stamp kind, where I get a 2x2-inch square of every single ding dang thing. Stitch it together and fold it up. Hand it to me with over flowing joy, so much that there's enough for everyone. Life has its fair share of shaky days and neglected, wonky feelings.
these are the waiting days.
the days of wanting something to start and of feeling ridiculously unprepared if it actually does.
the days of wanting to hold someone close and of wanting to push them away because I can't breathe.
the days of wanting to freeze time and of wanting to skip ahead.
the days of feeling unsteady on my feet and unwavering in my heart...
these are good days.
Sure, I'd like to shove my way through a rusty, bolted-shut gate or two.
But you know what? The flowers keep popping up and though I should know by now to expect them, they never fail to captivate me.
This is life, friends. This is life.
Twirl around and grab your share.
For the filling
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 pounds cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
For the biscuit topping
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese (2 1/4 ounces), plus 1 tablespoon, for sprinkling
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, plus more for brushing
Make the filling: Heat oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let cool.
Toss onion mixture, tomatoes, flour, and red-pepper flakes with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and some pepper.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the biscuit topping: Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until small clumps form. Stir in cheese, then add cream, stirring with a fork to combine until dough forms. (Dough will be slightly sticky.)
Transfer tomato mixture to a 2-quart baking dish (2 inches deep). Spoon 7 clumps of biscuit dough (about 1/2 cup each) over top in a circle, leaving center open. Brush dough with cream, and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon cheese. Bake until tomatoes are bubbling in the center and biscuits are golden brown, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Let cool for 20 minutes.