I love that we can love. That we bow to the altar of love in a million and one ways every single moment of every day- that we have this immense capacity to connect and be filled with love for all the small things and big things in life – to our friends, lovers and family, to things (like the bear I keep on my bed that was abandoned), to the way the sun hits the mountains just so on a given day, the smell of spring grass growing, those waves of memories of childhood. It feels so rich. And I love how it transforms you. Every connection offers the possibility of reinvention – I remember falling in love for the first time when I was 18. I didn’t know at the time that this would happen again and again until I was reinvented and transformed to receive and want the right kind of love. But every moment along the way was transformational.It feels like being re-born into a better version of yourself. I sometimes feel disappointed with people, with humanity and the craziness we create and inflict on each other and creatures and I need to remind myself of what I love about what it is to be human. That’s all.
It is elsewhere, elsewhere, the neighborhood you seek.
The neighborhood you long for,
where the gentle trolley –ding, ding– passes
through, where the adults are kind
and, better, sane,
that neighborhood is gone, no, never
existed, though it should have
and had a chance once
in the hearts of women, men (farmers dreamed
this place, and teachers, book writers, oh thousands
of workers, mothers prayed for it, hunchbacks,
nurses, blind men, maybe most of all soldiers,
even a few generals, millions
through the millennia…), some of whom,
despite anvils on their chests,
despite taking blow after blow across shoulders and necks,
despite derision and scorn,
some of whom still, still
stand up everyday against ditches swollen with blood,
against ignorance, still dreaming,
full-fledged adults, still fighting,
trying to build a door to that place,
trying to pry open the ugly,
bullet-pocked, and swollen gate
to the other side,
the neighborhood of make-believe.
Thanks to Alison Mcghee for her generous curation of these beautiful poems!
For more information on Thomas Lux, please click here:http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/thomas-lux
My friend Lorraine, who also happens to be a Trekkie, a fact which bears no relevance to this blog post, had a bunch of us girls over for a fantastic dinner a while ago and sent us all home with goodie bags. What happened to be in these goodie bags was her and her sister’s homemade caramel corn. Call me crazy but I have never (ever) had caramel corn in my life. Having no idea how much work this took, I asked Captain Kirk if I could pay her to cook me up a batch for Dave’s birthday.
So Lorraine generously obliged and I ended up coming home with the first birthday present that wasn’t returned. Last night we polished off the last few morsels and in some ways I feel relieved, even thankful because I have obsessed steadily for the last week about C. Kirk’s CC. I think about it all day at work and when I come home I think about how I shouldn’t eat all of Dave’s birthday corn, but then I eat some more anyways, trying desperately all the while not to eat all the best bits (but I do anyways) like the candied pecans and macadamia nuts. So I’m just saying, this treat does come with a stern warning – it is equally as dangerous as the Dangerous Rumballs.
So make this at your own peril! I haven’t actually made this yet – the version I received used pecans instead of almonds and macadamia nuts instead of something else. I think you can use whatever nut you fancy. Go ahead and try this fabulous recipe. When we’ve recovered from this lot we’re making our first batch! Let me know how it goes. And now without further ado your key to caramel corn fabulousness.
And thank you Lorraine for sharing this great recipe – which came from the Globe & Mail.
1/3 cup natural popcorn kernels (about 12 cups popped)
1 cup unsalted almonds
1 cup unsalted cashews
1 vanilla pod
1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
fleur de sel
Preheat oven to 250 F. Pop 1/3 cup natural popcorn kernels (about 12 cups popped). Set aside in a large bowl and stir in 1 cup unsalted almonds and 1 cup unsalted cashews.
Scrape the beans out of 1 vanilla pod and mix into 1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Set aside.
In a large heavy bottomed pot melt 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup corn syrup, 1/2 cup unsalted butter and 1/2 tsp salt. Allow it to come to a boil over med-high heat and leave for 5 minutes without stirring. Pull off the heat and add 1 teaspoon baking soda and the vanilla mixture. (The mixture will be extremely hot so be careful.) Pour over the popcorn and stir quickly to coat everything. Divide onto 2 to 3 parchment line cookie sheets, sprinkle with fleur de sel and put in the oven for 1 hour. Stir occasionally to further coat the popcorn evenly with caramel. Remove, allow to cool and store in an airtight container.
If I had to put a word to what I miss most about my dog Reuben, it’s his ‘substantialness’. His immensity. It’s not just his physicality – his large barrel chest, his impossibly long, crazy legs, his large, large head, 1/4 part pit bull maybe – who knows, who cares – those dark, dark brown soulful eyes, constantly watching me – but I also miss his way of being – you know the way a person, or soul and in this case a dog, fills a room, even with their quietness, their fortitude, their undying love and need to be close at all times, just to make sure, because he needed to take care of me and as it turned out, I needed to take care of him. But I also miss his soft muzzle that sometimes found it’s way into my hand when we were walking, or how his tongue grazed my palm when he drank water, or how on dark, quiet, early mornings he would jump from his bed onto our bed, next to me, to cuddle – and we’d lie there waiting for the morning to start, waiting for the day to break. Sometimes Dave would say to me – “Reub knows it’s Saturday today. He definitely knows.” I loved how he grew into every crevice of my heart, all the dark places, all the light places and all the places in between – how substantial that felt, how big, how immense. Some people said he was such a lucky guy. How he won the lottery when he first found me and then found Dave and then found his beloved grandma. But really, I’m the one who won the lottery. We were the real winners.
So we’re running out of water, even if in Vancouver we feel like we have more than enough to spare for the next hundred years. So I found it interesting to find out how LITTLE I knew. Not your fault National Geographic. I know you didn’t set out to make me feel stupid. You too can test your water knowledge and prove just how smart you are! Take the quizz right here.
Photograph by Dave Vanderkop