Monday, December 31, 2012

Epiphanies At Year's End

 I sit on the cusp of a new year. 2012 has been a whirlwind of wonder and banality. There has been so much excitement and horror that I often marvel that I am here at all. I marvel at the fact that I have the kind of life that enables me to do what I do and that is something I'll never take for granted. My trials have been manageable and my joys have been many. Along the way, as I've documented some of what I do here, I have, once or twice, been struck by insights that sent me soaring with "I get it!" tumbling from my lips.

Allow me to give you an example. For almost three years I've been using Michele's rolling pin for my pies and cookies with varying degrees of success. It's one of these:

Yep, that's it.
Finely crafted, solid wood, nice balance. And I have the hardest time controlling it. My old rolling pin, which I gave away (along with my marble slab) when Michele and I combined our lives into this apartment, was marble and cylindrical; it was heavy enough to keep me from having to put too much muscle into the rolling. This one is tapered from center to ends and requires a completely different techniqueone I couldn't figure out for the life of me. Don't get me wrong, I made good pies and cookies with it, but I've never felt comfortable with this rolling pin. That changed at the beginning of this month. 

As part of the Birthday Tea menu, I'd decided on my apple-pear pie (one of my staple baked goods). I'd prepped the dough in my usual way (which ends with the dough disc cooling off in the refrigerator). I readied the pastry cloth I now use because a few months ago I broke the marble slab Michele moved with. I began rolling the bottom crust and suddenly it was as though time slowed down as I looked at my hands on the rolling pin and watched the pin flatten the dough. I could see everything that I was doing right and understood everything I was doing wrong. And I knew this crust would turn out exactly how I wanted it to. The same thing happened when I rolled out the top crust. I'd finally gotten a feel for the rolling pin and it was like catching lighting in a bottle: exhilirating and triumphal!

It was one of those moments in which you know you're doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing. And you just smile and keep on doing.

Have a happy new year and may it bless you with adventure, joy, wonder and love.

I leave you with this:

Engage!
  Currently listening to: Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 "From The New World"

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