Gleaming the Cube

For a couple of years now I have been, shall we say, sauntering through what we will call my love life. I have not settled into anyone nor have I necessarily been very concerned about it. Yes, of course I’d like to find my person – if it actually works that way, but I also understand that it’s not up to me (apparently some self help books would disagree, but don’t get me started on that). I will say I have met a lot of interesting people and made some great friends during this stretch of time. But for the most part, bated breath, butterflies, nothing.

Every so often, this laissez-faire attitude towards romance in my life, or the people that flit in and out defining it gets shattered. My patina vanishes. I get geeky, girly, giddy, nervous, excited and frightened. My palms get sweaty. I say frightened because this means someone, to whom my stupid rules don’t apply, has made me wonder what’s happening and, moreover, what’s next. I crave definition. I’m no longer rolling with the punches, I no longer could take it or leave it. This means my Achilles heel is showing. And, oh my gawd, is that a pimple on my nose?!

My friend, Doug, with whom I was sharing all this on the phone earlier, tells me that he has always thought, in this realm of my life, that I exhibit Negative Capability which I think is sort of like philosophical pragmatism. He thinks that I am able to let things be in whatever may be their mystery, that I am capable of being in uncertainty. He must think I’m cool. Which is funny because, while I try pretty hard to wear that outfit and project that impression onto the world, inside I often feel quite the opposite.

It’s interesting to occasionally be provided with an idea of how you are perceived. It reminds me of a line from a Hal Hartley movie that was something like, I want the image of myself and my true self to become one. So, in this case, the image I am projecting is apparently effective but entirely different from either how I really am or how I perceive myself. I guess that lays out the question, is my true self how I perceive myself or is it how I project myself and appear to others?

Oh, right. Negative Capability.

The thing is, right now, I’m not exactly brimming with it. Of course, being the philosophical pragmatist I realize, logically, that I simply cannot control any of this anyway. We shall see and whatnot. I mean, what can I really do to control it? But, honestly, inside I’m in a state of agitation. And it seems to dominate conversations with a few of my friends. That can’t be much fun for them. Especially since I’m just repeating myself a bunch and acting like a dorky chick.

So I don’t continue to drive them crazy and to help my own dithery ditherness, I’m forcing this upon you. But the payoff for you, as always, is a wonderful recipe. 

A couple of years ago, while in Southern France with Chris, I would visit the farmers' market each morning and buy wonderful, fresh produce to play with. One day I grabbed up a bunch of baby, purple artichokes. My house host showed me the most beautiful and simple way to prepare them. Artichokes seem apropos here as their exterior belies what is inside, but they seem most comfortable in their mystery.

Sautéed Baby Artichokes with Olive Oil, Garlic & Lemon

Serves 4
1 pound baby artichokes
Juice from one lemon
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste 
Italian Parsley, chopped

Peel off outer leaves, trim stems and cut artichokes into quarters.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and garlic. When the oil is good and hot, add artichokes. Season with salt and pepper; toss well. Add juice of 1/2 lemon. Lower heat to medium and cook until artichokes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add remainder of lemon juice. Garnish with Italian Parsley and serve immediately. (These are also good at room temperature.)

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed your thoughts and made note of the recipe...