Thursday, September 03, 2009

the cake of life

I was talking to a friend today and somehow, somewhere, in the course of our wandering conversation, I compared my life to baking a cake or some fine confectionery treat.

There can be a lot of flurry in the kitchen: ingredients are tossed about, the flour gets spilled on the counter, batter gets splattered, sticky spoons and fingers are everywhere, an egg might fall on the floor, dirty messy bowls start to pile up, and if you have any passion in you at all for what you are doing, there might be some yelling and screaming and loud banging of pans as the egg whites just won't form stiff peaks or the butter refuses to cream with the sugar because you got the temperature wrong or you realise that you are all out of icing sugar.

Not everyone can handle being in the kitchen of my life. Everyone wants to taste the cake, the wonderfully sweet and delightful end product, but not all are up for witnessing the sometimes chaotic process or seeing the inevitable flop that I toss in the garbage before I finally get it right.

I can be a pretty intense person; I feel things deeply and am not afraid to be affected by life's events. The fierce emotions have been known to scare and annoy some people, but they usually pass in an hour or two and to me, they are worth it. There is a maturity of compassion and an experiential wisdom that can come from laying one's life open to the bumps and painful discomfort along the way that will probably never come to the stoic or the person who keeps things carefully under control.

Not all of my friends are up for cooking with me in the kitchen. I have learned that. I am happy to serve them the tasty fruit of my labours while they repose themselves in the safety of the separate dining room. However, for the few who do venture into the mess and noise and clutter of my life in process without running away, I say, "Welcome, brave soul. Let's create something so beautifully delicious that everyone will want the recipe!"

These are some ingredients from my kitchen.

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