Monday, October 12, 2009

On the Kitchen Counter

If Bette Davis were here, she'd put one hand on her hip, survey the place and declare: "What a dump!"

The state of my apartment always has reflected the state of my mind.  It's as if someone raised the volume on my "YOU'RE A MESS" knob.  How's THAT for a mirror?!  Wherever I go, there I am.  CRAP! 
During such times, I also tend not to feed myself properly. It's only after returning from my weekly visit to the Inwood Farmers' Market that I realize how I've not been nourishing myself quite the way I had been before August 17.

Even doing the laundry feels like an effort.

All this lack (no clean clothes, no food other than science experiments in the fridge, no order) is a constant reminder that I'm in pain, I don't know what to do with myself, everything feels like an effort, and my Mom isn't here to make it better.

Oh, goody - an opportunity to delve deeper. 

Nourish and nurture derive from the Old French and Latin word "to feed, nurse, foster, support, preserve," "to suckle".  How apt, then, that the death of my Mom would result in a self-nourishment crisis.  No surprise that nursery is also a derivative since I feel like a big fat baby!  I simply do not want to take care of myself ... myself.

Some of my best memories of my Mom and I are of days when she'd be cooking in our little galley kitchen in Douglaston and I'd hop up on the counter (which I did through my forties and probably still do with friends when I get the chance).  She'd cook dinner for us and we'd talk about everything.  I'd tell her about school, ballet class; she'd tell me about work and what she had planned for us for the weekend.  I'd ask what her favorite color was, she'd ask what I wanted to be when I grew up.  Both questions of equal importance.    Thus, nurturing and nourishment are inextricably linked forever for me. 

Maybe the lesson for me now is tenderness and self-nurturance; to take everything I learned from her about how to do that and learn to do it for myself or go visit a friend's kitchen (consider yourselves forewarned). 

So I find that I begin returning to my kitchen to cook the things Mom made for me that would make me feel better.  Chopping onions, I can still talk to her as the smells of comfort fill my home.   

Yes, Mom, I know . . . browning the meat before putting it in the crock pot makes a better pot roast (just please don't make me make those PEAS!).  I'll do that while the laundry's in the dryer.

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