Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Life as captured at World Market

I really like that store, World Market. I have enjoyed every one of the strolls I have taken through it over the years. Chairs and jewelry, food and wine, dishes and candles. It's all there. Jumbled together. In no particular order, it seems. But all so colorful and inviting. So tempting and so reasonably priced.

In my more sane moments, I ask myself: do I really need any of this stuff, really? Is there one single, solitary thing in this store that I can honestly say that I need? Perhaps not. But it sure is fun walking through there. In my less than sane moments, I have been known to fill an entire basket with stuff that I don't need and, even as I am being checked out, I shake my head at the excessiveness of it all.

I was introduced to "Illy from the Bialetti" many years ago. I hope I never recover from that introduction. Italian coffee from an Italian coffee maker. Memories of Italy, Orvieto, Firenze, and wandering around up and down the streets of Italian cities and towns. Again, I hope I never recover.

I am not much of a cook. Well, I cook pretty regularly because my family has this nasty habit of wanting to eat every day. But if I didn't have to cook, if someone were willing to come and take over that chore, I'd give it up pretty quickly. I'd rather clean than cook.

So when I gaze with fear and trembling at spice racks, when I see the names of herbs I wouldn't even know what to do with, I wish I were more creative or at least more interested in creating dishes that we would find delightfully delicious. Until such time, I finger the spice bottles and pray for invitations to other people's houses for dinner.

Sweet syrup. I buy the peppermint syrup every now and then for peppermint mochas, especially around the holidays. Yum, yum. And of course, one bottle of syrup which will flavor 2 or 3 dozen drinks, costs less than two white peppermint mochas at Starbucks. Yikes!

One lesson I learned the hard way: don't ever use one of those pumps in a syrup bottle at home. It's the same as leaving the bottle wide open. And ants really like open bottles of flavored and sweetened syrup. Yikes - yet again!

I love candy. I really do. I like fruit flavored candy. But I refuse to eat something from a bag with a label that I cannot understand. I must admit that the colors caught my eye. The display of all the sweets produced somewhere on the other side of the planet made me smile: there are people all over the world who like fruit flavored candy. What a great reminder that there is much more that we share as people than what divides us. Everybody likes sweet stuff and peace and love. Everybody loves their children and wants the best for them - except for a few whose thought processes we will never comprehend, that is. Quite unexpectedly, those brightly colored candy bags brought it home for me.

I'm feeling cut in half and blurry a lot lately. Happy. Wandering. Wondering. Grateful. Fascinated. Enchanted. But blurred and blurry too. I feel split between wanting to be the best wife and mother possible, wanting to live alone in Madrid and be a tour guide for solo women travelers, wishing I could be the next door neighbor to so many amazing people I know, in spite of the fact that they happen to live in distant countries and cities (India, Italy, England, Spain, Nicaragua, the Netherlands, Brazil, Sandy Hook, San Francisco, Dayton, Baltimore, Chicago, Williamstown, Ponte Vedra Beach, Norwalk, New Canaan, Stamford, Brooklyn, just to name a few), wanting to dedicate my entire life and all my time and resources to helping people who are in desperate situations, wishing I could teach and lead retreats for exhausted people in need of renewal and refreshment, and wanting to be the ultimate wasteful, thoughtless, excessive World Market shopper that ever did walk the face of the planet. Mine is a deeply divided spirit and heart. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

Who knew that a stroll through World Market would bring so many thoughts and questions and confessions to the surface of my soul? Who knew?


Laurie said...

Hello sweet sister. Thanks for posting on my blog this morning.

Hey, I love, love, love to cook with fresh and dried herbs. How about I move to your state (warmer there in the winter) and be your cook? Just think of the fun, long talks we could have about books we read. And then I could teach you how to find the creative side of yourself? I am sure you have an artistic side... I see it in your writing, your photos, you beautiful smile.

You are such an encouragment to me. Yes, I definately think I should be your cook..... Just thought makes my heart sing and dance. Blessings for a really marvelous, delicious day!

Laurie said...

Gail, I am on Facebook. Look me up if you are there too.

jena strong said...

I understand this divide. And our work is to hold space for both, both and all parts. Wholeness, even then.

I've come back all day to these pictures. Scrumptious.