Today is a weird day, but then what day of late hasn't been? Woke up with a headache for the third day coupled with intense nausea (also a
semi-constant of late), bummed around reading/coffee/instagram etc,
and then, when finally about to begin eating, my legs started feeling
heavy, leaden, and simultaneously gelatinous, weak, spastic.
Image to the right is an accidental selfie from last week sitting in the late afternoon sun (properly distanced) from a few neighbors, laughing as I tried to capture their shenanigans, but looking at it now I see as equally pained and happy. Not sure what that means.
Thanks in advance for reading, and for forgiving typos, confusing grammar, and only partially in-focus phone photos.
I'm sitting here debating what to do about it (bath, tea, massage, laying down, more food, muscle relaxant, magnesium?) as the spasms and tremors work their ways through my whole body, and wonder how much is caused by me/my choices in external factors (too much sugar, not enough exercise?), and how much is the microscopic bugs who have staked out their (rent free!!) home in me.
Passover in most traditional cultural iterations is framed as a time of remembrance, loss, deprivation, starvation, oppression, and then finally, freedom. The starvation and deprivation aspects are most obviously represented in the dietary restrictions for the holiday -- no wheat (or barley, oats, spelt, or rye), no leavening, and lest we forget, the bread of affliction, matzah, a terrible unsalted sheet of cardboard cracker.
Below is what I popped into and pulled out of the oven during my family's zeder (zoom seder, so hot right now). Not the worst, but so, so, so far from the best. However cannot really call it bread of affliction in my case, using organic wheat flour and baking on silicone sheets...
I, as a lifelong vegetarian, cook, and lover of all things plant, recognize that I come at these eight days of eating from a different place than many, but want to suggest a reframing. Much as so many of us are recalculating and reorganizing and reassessing our work and social and generally entire lives in this moment, we can view it as a pause, a time for slowing, growing, sitting, and feeding ourselves what our bodies and brains are and have been craving.
Case in point: my improvised seder plate, using things I already had around the house, with the exception of nasturtiums and mustard greens, which I picked at the community garden down the street (and wine for the charoset, had to journey out into the wild world of west oakland corner stores for that one).
On my way home that day, I ran into some pascal lambs! Around the corner from my house!
And only noticed them when I started smelling/hearing them when I stopped to admire
If anyone knows anything about it, please inform.
A few weeks back (and for more than a month prior in preparation) one of my cousins organized an Ayurvedic cleanse that she shared with any interested. I did not participate fully by any measure, but followed along noticing where my own choices and habits aligned with and diverged from their wisdom and took it as time to pay closer attention to how and what I eat. I really appreciated the structure as a guide, a very easy way to slowly increase my knowledge in the area, and as a reminder of just how well my body knows itself when I listen. The emphasis of fresh, young greens and sprouts along with cooling spices and reduction or cessation of alcohol and caffeine all range very true to how I felt with the seasonal change, and while they all require a bit more willpower, a new normal sets in quite quickly (as you have likely learned).
Lots of flowers are edible, like these day-glo nasturtiums, which are sweet with a sharp peppery bite. *chef's kiss delicious*
This is all to say that I have eaten better in the last week than usual (and tonight plan to purchase my first meal out during the quarantine!!! to break the wheat fast), and though naturally that meant spending even more time in the kitchen than usual, I know y’all have that now.
My second seder plate/solo sushi extravaganza.
Cooking has long been a meditative and very personal act for me, and making foods that are so very nurturing and restorative, as well as sometimes foraged from your neighborhood (or yard if you should be so lucky), bring an added layer of comfort and care. When you spend so long with the ingredients, taking them from their most raw and natural state and turning them into something entirely other and enhance, in both flavor and nutrition, I think you take in more of the healing properties partly by showing care for yourself.
Though Passover is now officially over Spring has only just begun, and more than likely so have our quarantines. At the start of last week I began compiling loose recipes for what I ate under the title “Pesach Recipes Even Your Goy Will Enjoy,” and while I still stand by that, I would also like to consider them (mostly) pantry plant based takes on how to eat like a quarantine queen.
Use whatchya got, go forage (carefully) around your neighborhood, wash your produce thoroughly, and please play with your food.
The rest are some of what I’ve made in the last couple of weeks, hope they provide some inspiration!
I've also been climbing the steep learning curve of mask making -- going to donate most of what I've made so far but lemme know if you're in need.
Stay safe and eat your greens!
I've been working on working on my hobbies/interests/skills and thusly have been trying to stretch some sore and underused muscles. Over the last month and a half or so have captured these sweet bits o nature. One day the photos will match what I see in me head :)
Expect many, many, many more of this nature forthcoming.
Plus exclusive mediocre cellphone shots of nature's patterns I enjoy while on walks, with bonus features of too many aloe flowers!
This year has been an odd one. Know I'm far from alone in feeling that, and the next month and a half are likely to continue to bring about more oddness for me and for all, but I nonetheless am wondering if this strange circle round the sun has been the strangest yet.
This month (or rather really a whole lot of the time) I have been reflecting on my life, my current situation, my needs, my desires, my place in Oakland, how to keep growing, how to maintain relationships AND boundaries, how to set better boundaries, how to get paid what I need.... the list is endless, but allllsooo, this fall is the three year anniversary of stepping into the scary and rewarding full-time freelance hustle.
I am constantly concerned about time, energy, compromise of values and artistic vision, and, of course, where the find the next check, and this is endlessly exhausting atop my normal (heaping) dose of fatigue. And mental fatigue. And societal/social fatigue. Thankfully this anxiety-producing and enhancing lifestyle has also afforded me tons of freedom and frequent connections with some insanely talented, wonderful, kind, generous, and funny folks.
Below are some snaps from the past 10ish months from friends, collaborators, brand photographers, and meself. This was a year of (even more, like so many, like some are not shown here many,) hair changes as well as ones of the internal variety, so please enjoy.
I'm hoping to spend the upcoming weeks continuing to chug along with the countless projects currently in the works in my apartment, to post a (lot) more on here / other interwebs platforms, write more, communicate my wants and needs more, and push push push towards this pipe dream of shared collaborative work space with my people.
(p.s. above crochet wear + heaps of other clothing, wall art, and home goods are very available for your gifting and personal needs).
As one always in flux and never not thinking I'm nearly always processing something (and that's not even touching on the things I physically process, in the kitchen and out).
This fall has been yet another of transitions large and small in personal and professional ways, and as I slog through what feels like and endless backlog and simultaneously attempt to keep pushing forward and creating, here's some things that have been finished in the last while.
Today as I sift through things in preparation physically I also returned to some photos from just over a year ago, when wildfires were also raging here in California and the sky was a burning hot gray blanket for days, just as it is at the moment.
As I enter this backend of my website each time I'm appalled at how long I've let things sit, how far from the way I wish to present myself this site is, and also at my lack of motivation. That said, in the year + that since I have posted anything here, I have taken an awful lot of photos of the sunset, mainly from my room.
Behold. Summa these are from during the wild-ass wild fires up north when I hermitted inside and watched the world burn.
p.s. laziness factors into alla this, of course, so photos are entirely unedited. Be thankful I bothered to take out my camera at all though, right? The little things.
Behold, the sky a-smoked, world on fiya.
Thankful for this view every day, thankful for California, thankful for that big ol' post office right nearby.
When I get to appreciate, or rather, when I choose to appreciate the truly astounding weather and nature I am presented with I am grateful and do my best to take it in and feel it, and also to let it linger. The good with the bad, the climate change with the astounding colors, the unemployment with the time to watch beauty unfold out my window.
Greetings friends and strangers!
Today is the first day of Fall, my first day of true unemployment, and a great day to reflect (which I will be doing over some blocks of clay later, should you think this word vomit counts--it does not).
Fall is a transition season, a period of unrest and confusion, of changes, of unpredictability. I am caught in the middle of all of this in my life right now anyhow, and am doing my best to appreciate the uncertainty and embrace the ever-changing. My life as I know it, my personhood as I know, my understanding of needs and wants, have been undergoing some serious challenges and changes of late, and as I grapple to decide who I think I am and where I need to be, I will be doing my best to watch every gorgeous sunset I can in this beautiful place.
Downside to moving on to bigger and better things (read: leaving my retail job at Plate):
No free dinners/veggies/coconut water.
No reason to go into SF proper.
No time devoted to reading. In June and July I read about a novel a week—getting to things I hadn’t had the time/didn’t make the time for. It is at once easy to get into and out of the habit of carrying a book everywhere, one of the chief reasons I purchased a kindle, but I also discovered that when this book is your top priority, a (novel sized, non Goldfinch or HP tome) can be fit into most bags. I love to lose myself in a novel, to be immersed in a different world—one fully outside of my own so that I might learn a thing or two about how others live, understand, talk, love, learn, and move about in their worlds. I gain insight from the authors and their characters, but also from the world of thought and understand and discussion being in the know affords from those (well-read, thoughtful) folks I generally surround myself with. Lately when I mention a book I’m working on, whomever I am in conversation with has already devoured it, and is often eager to blend brain-thoughts on the matter. When I let the books fall to the wayside, I forget to engage in this way.
Up until last year, I do not recall ever having heard of or celebrating International Women's Day. Though at twenty I already considered myself an independent feminist woman, the holiday did not elicit much thought beyond my excitement about free entry to museums and fun women-focused events. I enjoyed the day with a woman friend, and then promptly forgot about the holiday until a few days ago.
The concept of an international holiday devoted to women is both wonderful and sad. I can understand dedicating days to the expressed appreciation of those in our lives and that, as half of the population (the harder working, less valued half), a day of recognition honored by the world is a big deal. That said, as we are still the harder working, less valued half of the world, is this day a way to get around showing appreciation for and sharing work with women for the rest of the year? Or an aggressive denial of the still-current disparity of fairness between the sexes? Or a way to turn a blind eye to it?
This is not to say that hearing kind words and receiving good attention. It is also not to devalue the bond such a holiday can create between women, bringing them together to how their love for themselves and each other. It is simply recognition and response to today and to the world I have been set to make my way in.
There are so many things piled up on my plate.... and so many plates in my kitchen. I'm currently borrowing space in a many person kitchen, which is an exercise in many things and also a very lucky thing to have in a home that is not your own.
I am here to remind the masses of something I think they already know.
Egg is the new black.
You know it. I know it. Runny yolks and crispy edges, saucing up a plate of whatever you like.
(Disclaimer: I have been getting clues everywhere that people are recognizing the egg and I'm just so happy about that. Also, I heard Piper Kerman speak last week so the cliché title is in part thanks to her).
It's time that everyone gives their thanks to any and all who can hear and receive. That is important, and I am thankful for many people and things, and I'm thankful to live where I do and to eat and live the way I like. I am also thankful that our country has begun to speak up and perhaps some real discourse and action will follow, allowing us to live in a world where everyone can be equally thankful for their lives..
Just as many others, I juggle a number of activities daily. One of them is thinking, and so I've put together some of those thoughts here.