Painting a Portal to Another World: Notes from the Georgia O’Keeffe Lake George Exhibit

Georgia O'Keeffe Lake George Reflection Seascape

What happens in the unseen world? It is a question artists have tried answering through their media since the beginning of time. Perhaps it is one of the reasons Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings have always pulled at me. While we try to remember to “stop and smell the roses,” she is examining their inner caverns, the hidden places that other than her seeing eye, only pollinators explore. Her close cropping to focus our attention on the interior world of a flower can’t help but keep me transfixed.

O’Keeffe offers insight into her approach: “I said to myself- I’ll paint what I see- what the flower is to me, but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it- I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.”

My own appreciation came at a young age, probably at an art exhibit in Dallas. Overwhelmed by her vibrant use of color and lines, I sought out her work in the beginning entranced by the floral compositions. The red poppy might still be one of the most iconic works by her but recently, I found myself equally moved by Red Canna, 1919 with colors that anywhere else might clash, but here, orange, coral, burgundy, chartreuse, turquoise and purple cavort playfully.

Recently, I attended the Lake George exhibition of O’Keeffe paintings at the DeYoung museum in San Francisco. The idea had been to wake up early enough to have time to spend lingering in front of the paintings before the melée of the masses had roused from their beds.

What is it about O’Keeffe’s paint style that beckons to throngs of people?

From O’Keeffe in 1976, “Objective painting is not good painting unless it is good in the abstract sense. A hill or tree cannot make a good painting just because it is a hill or a tree. It is lines and colors put together so that they say something. For me that is the very basis of painting. The abstraction is often the most definite form of the intangible thing in myself that I can only clarify in paint.”

This quote makes me think of David Chang’s offhand remark to Anthony Bourdain about Bay Area cuisine consisting of figs on a plate, but how ingredients like figs on a plate get interpreted and assembled into a larger whole. Her assertion that in the abstract she finds the definite makes me wonder how each of us clarify the intangible? For her, she paints to get closer to the truth. For me, I write and sometimes sketch really bad poems to get closer to the Poem.

While I knew of O’Keeffe’s fascination with the natural world, the Lake George exhibition revealed her appreciation of food. She is not someone I previously associated with food as I might Cezanne with his still life paintings. Hanging from the museum walls were “alligator pears” from 1920 and 1921- in a bold vivid stripped down still life of avocados with her telltale vibrancy letting the emerald avocados pop against the more muted background in puce with grey and white, along with a basket in brown and burgundy. There, I read a note of O’Keeffe describing growing corn as “one of my special interests.”

On O’Keeffe’s pared down perspective: “Nothing is less real than realism. Details are confusing. It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things.”

Isn’t that the object of the artist- to figure out where to turn the attention of a by-stander, to understand that the work will become public domain as soon as it is seen but first to figure out what the work wants to say and then slice away all superfluous and extraneous detail so that there is no confusion as to where to look? It’s not as if she is averse to detail. No, one thing that makes her paintings shimmer are the illuminated edges where flowers touch leaves or one petal ends and the other begins. It hearkens a halo effect on the inside of the flower forms that creates dimensionality.

As in poetry where one thing might stand for another, this kind of indirect communication is something that makes paintings the very best kind of puzzles. At the end of the exhibit one wall bears three paintings of leaves. Without reading the description to the right of the central painting, there is one looming leaf and another that is diminished and brittle. The loneliness in these paintings made me hate them. Their lack of that infusion of color and choice of muted tones made them cold and uncaring. It didn’t take much to see that these works were important for the artist even if they were not emblematic of the whole body of her work. They seemed to me like catharsis paintings and I felt sorrow for the small leaf on the outskirts. But even in these dull colors of decay and fall, a lesson emerged of beauty displayed in the sheen of satiny leaves.

Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings take a risk. They embody an urgency to live life now – to open one’s eyes to the incredible unseen world all around us. I left the Georgia O’Keeffe Lake George exhibit charged with energy to keep my creative work progressing. I also heeded the not so subtle nudge to get outside and slow down enough to appreciate what is always changing, always growing or dying but never ceasing to impart some great truth about why we are all here.

“It takes courage to be a painter. I always felt I walked on the edge of a knife and could fall off on either side. But, so what? What if I did fall off? So what? What if you do fall? I always wanted to do something I really wanted to do.”

So, if you write, write on! If you paint, paint on! If you sing or play guitar, play on! The time is now. Like the colors outside that keep changing, so will life. I’m grateful to keep her vibrant outlook writ on the walls of my mind for the journey ahead.

 

Georgia O’Keeffe painting, “Lake George (formerly Reflection Seascape)”


Food Poetry: Cream of Tartar by Julia Wendell

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships between mothers and daughters. They can be so fraught of misunderstanding. My mother used to denounce my teenage years as the years I didn’t talk to her. How could I explain the gulf of emotion and crisis upon which I was cresting outside of writing and reading my way through those four profoundly influential years?

Julia Wendell shares a story about cooking with her mother in the kitchen, how together they shared a secret that one of them knew and the other had yet to learn. Her mother’s arthritic hands made certain small acts in the kitchen difficult for her but provided opportunities for her daughter to participate in the process. At the time, Julia questioned the validity of her contributions until she too developed arthritis in her hands year later, and with it, understanding of how important her help had been to her mom. Mothers and daughters can do a kind of circle eight dance, can’t they? So many years later, my mother and I are the closest we have ever been but it has come at the cost of all of the lessons life has taught us through one another along the way.

Julia Wendell’s new book, Take This Spoon explores this tenuous balance between mothers and daughters, grounding it in the food they make together. I caught a glimpse of her food poetry and knew that I wanted to share it with you. Be sure to read beyond her poem, “Cream of Tartar” for Julia’s Cheese Souffle recipe that includes the secret ingredient alluded to in the poem above it.

Take This Spoon by Julia Wendell

 

Cream of Tartar

by Julia Wendell from her new book, Take This Spoon

 

Pot-holdering a cloud

of toasted soufflé,

its voluptuous body

billowing over the dish,

we kept its infallible, flawless secret,

 

referencing the butter-

stained recipe card

by memory only.

Teamwork, we’d wink to each other—

and lots of stirring—never revealing

 

what separated mother and daughter

from our guests’ amazement

at this seeming perfection—

fleeting, and only as good

as our shortcut:

 

a bitter white powder lodged

in a glass spice jar

that doubles in volume without fail

what it starts with, transforming

impossible into easy.

 

 

Julia Wendell’s Cheese Soufflé

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese

About 1 ½ cups milk

5 eggs, separated

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

In a double boiler, melt the butter. Then add the flour and stir until well blended. Add the milk, a little at a time, and stir until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the cheese, stir, and remove from the heat. Beat the egg yolks until light and sunny. Add to cheese sauce which has been allowed to cool slightly. Beat whites until stiff but not dry. Fold in cream of tartar and then blend cheese mixture into it. Pour mixture into a greased ceramic deep dish and place that dish into an oven-proof pie pan that has about ½ inch of boiling water added to it. Place dish and pie pan in middle rack of oven. Cook at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until soufflé has risen and crust has browned and a knife inserted in center comes out clean. DO NOT open the oven door while cooking. Only check for doneness at the end of the hour. If the pie pan runs out of water within the cycle of cooking, open the oven door ONCE to add a little more boiling water.

Around my house, we always served the soufflé with baked potatoes, peas, and a “Seizure Salad”—but that’s your call.

 

food poetry Julia Wendell
ABOUT JULIA WENDELL
Julia Wendell grew up in the Allegheny Forest of northwest Pennsylvania. Educated at Cornell University, Boston University, and the University of Iowa, Writer’s Workshop, she left her mid-careers as teacher and editor for the world of horses and three-day eventing. Her children John Logan (a classical sitarist) and Caitlin Saylor (an actor/playwright), grew up with their mother and her husband, poet and critic, Barrett Warner, on their horse farm in northern Baltimore County, where Julia and Barrett still live and work. Julia is enamored of jumping horses over immovable obstacles while galloping cross country. Discover more of her work at JuliaWendell including her new book of poetry about food and the complexities of a mother-and-daughter relationship, Take This Spoon.


Star in Your Own Rock Opera

Rock Opera

If you ever find yourself in the middle of a rock opera, strap yourself in for one doozy of a ride.

Maybe you’re puzzled by the idea of a rock opera and wondering if it too has a fat lady who sings. The answer, like most things in life, is maybe. What you can count on are several interesting plot points to build the story of the hero or heroine (that’s you), a low point (or one or two), a climax and the volta or turn of the story where the hero or heroine comes out ahead. The exception here is the tragic story line where the hero or heroine dies of consumption (Mimi, La Boheme), tuberculosis (Violetta, La Traviata) or death by stabbing from a former lover now driven mad with jealousy (Carmen). On the other hand, be glad you are in a rock opera and not traditional opera. It’s safer that way.

The months of April and May should have come with instructions. A warning of what was to come might have been stuffed inside an envelope delivered with the monthly bills and mail. I would see that as a courtesy. Instead, one announcement and event prepared me for the next as if someone gave me a domino and then asked that it strike other unseen dominoes to set off the chain of events. It’s a good thing I’ve learned to grow thick skin. It’s a good thing that my skin is so porous that I soak in what befalls me that I might attempt to fully appreciate each event separately and in tandem.

Let’s go back to rock opera first because a definition is necessary. Trusty Wikipedia defines a rock opera as “a work of rock music that presents a storyline told over multiple parts, songs or sections in the manner of an opera.” That sounds right.

In high school, I auditioned for and made it into an exclusive youth music choir group. One of the members of the group was a wisecrack named Michael Turner. He could make me chuckle or guffaw better than almost anyone with his quick wry responses or clever disseminations of a situation. He sang tenor and I sang alto with occasional forays into soprano territory. Some of my happiest memories of high school consisted of choir tours including one in which I clinched a solo rap that I can still recite with the right rhythm and bravado so many years later though I no longer wear my ball cap backwards.

After high school, I ventured off to college and would you believe it, Michael eventually made his way to the same college following a more circuitous route involving a get-away car, a high school sweetheart in Waco and a change of venue. But, first, he enrolled in the college’s theater program and auditioned for the lead role in their production of Tommy by the Who, the first rock opera.

Tommy was my first rock opera experience so many years ago. I watched my friend Michael transform into the lead character, a young boy who retreats into himself after a horrific experience, becoming blind, deaf, mute, finding music inside and a penchant for pinball. The story takes the expected turn with a climax of Tommy the pinball genius gathering a following of cult-like status who later revolt and leave. It doesn’t end on a happy note, but it doesn’t really matter. What I remember about Michael’s performance was his slaphappy look of joy playing pinball, oblivious, at that point of his popularity.

This story, my story does not have a sad ending, though it has a challenge or two thrown in for good measure. Recently, a mantra made its way into my head for me to sound aloud when I needed the stamina. It goes like this: “suffering leads to endurance; endurance leads to character; character leads to hope and hope does not fail.” These words became bedrock during my own rock opera.

In the span of one month plus change, my mom was diagnosed with cancer, underwent surgery to remove the cancer, and learned a week later, on Thursday, that she is now cancer-free without need for chemo or radiation. We whooped as much as one can do without raising your voice in sweet exultation in a surgeon’s office. Inside I sang a Hallelujah chorus by my lonesome. On Friday, a personal project made great strides which gave me the courage to go knock on the door of my father’s house and spend 10 minutes talking with his widow who I hadn’t spoken with for four years at her behest. I didn’t know that just two weeks later I would be laid off due to reduction in workforce.

One domino set the others into motion. The constant image in my mind during all of this is trying to find examples of what joy looks like. In spite of the more challenging parts of this rock opera, I, the heroine, can choose to sink or swim and I can see land in the near distance, so swimming is the only option. When one door closes, do you have the temerity to walk through the one that opens?

Suffering – Endurance – Character – Hope

So, the question I would ask you is how can you become the hero or heroine in your own rock opera? What change of tactic or mindset will help you see the horizon line- what will compel you to swim if you’re flailing right now? In the darkest moments of the time of my mom’s diagnosis or waiting to find out if the cancer had spread, when I found my hands gripping the knotted end of my rope, I held up a hand and tried to pull others up as a method for pulling myself up. All of us are starring in our own rock operas and the end doesn’t have to be tragic or grim. It is my hope for you that together we can muster through the tough bits to claim the glorious ones with the electric guitar solos that sing.


Keeping the Eye on the Butterfly

tulips for the cancer caregiver

If Billie Jean had been a nurse, she would have had Dr. Michael Jackson as her attending. Somewhere between the jangled nerves of being in the radiology department, my mother had forgotten the name of her surgeon. When asked, she quickly quipped, Dr. Michael Jackson. Her doctor whose surname was not Jackson left her in pre-op by moonwalking out of the room. God bless him.

When we visited her in the recovery room several hours later, through slurred words she asked, When can I eat? A corporal sigh could have been heard from Texas to Timbuktu. Four meals later, my hair tousled from hospital bedhead and my favored Art Institute of Chicago hoodie slung from air condition weary shoulders, I stepped outside the hospital for the first time. It was a brave new world. In it, we would learn if the disease had spread or if the doctor had cut it out completely. We would transfer from the hospital bed to the home bed. But first, I drove to Whole Foods to start my part.

Out came the hand-scrawled list of ingredients divided in my Type A template by store sections. My hands dove into the organic produce bins squeezing and sniffing, gathering fruits and vegetables in my wake. Mist caught me unawares and sprayed on my arm and shirt as if offering a soothing reprieve. On to the bulk section, my frayed nerves caught me getting mouthy with a rogue customer who dipped her hand into the bin, plucking a prune to consume without a thought about the available scoop.

I have renewed respect for the role of caregivers. They are the unsung heroes whose work goes on behind the scenes like the light technician on a Broadway show. In planning for this trip, I had no idea that I might have bitten off more than I could chew but then again I’ve always been a graduate of the fake-it-til-you-make-it academy. Do you belong to that esteemed institution too?

For over a week we chilled out to chia pudding and got saucy with nutrient-dense smoothies. We drove by fast food burger joints and she wistfully said burger with a reverence usually reserved for Vatican City. The lentil walnut loaf with handmade “approved by Annelies” ketchup served with cauliflower mashed potatoes got cheers all around. Being a cook and keeper of the kitchen wasn’t so hard- until my normally food-friendly mom started sliding food around her plate.

Tiger moms, helicopter moms and the like get such a bad rap. They know or at least I knew what was regular for my Mom and when it started going into unexpected territory, I fretted and fussed. I began writing really bad poetry- the cathartic kind that stumbles across the screen because it does not serve the role of chasing after a Pushcart but to help suspicions and worry eat their fill of black type marching on a blank page. I began growing desperate, knowing lack of appetite had been a signal early on from what the doctors and nurses had said could be a change of course.

Not on my watch became my mantra and yet she slept as one who had walked the length of the United States from coast to coast. Her energy waned and her appetite disappeared. I took a short house break to hit the elliptical like a freight truck trammeling downhill. I focused my anxiety into downward dogs. I prayed without ceasing. And still, my tunnel vision caught my breath.

We caught the infection early. Dr. Michael Jackson gave us a prescription to help us Beat It, telling us it would take 48 hours for her to perk up. For the narrow window from the surgeon’s office to the house, she was herself again, albeit abbreviated. For the first time since her diagnosis, I caved,

Shall we get you a burger? (voice trembling. expectant. hopeful. weary.)

Our wide car swung into the drive-through line and spoke our order to the small voicebox as if this one decision would turn our ship around in the right direction. She ripped into the burger with interest- five bites worth- which gave me a short-lived joy.

Even now, I stand ready to invoke calories into her body. I banish the infection from doing its dastardly work. I am helpless to do anything other than raise my hands to my heart and my words to our Creator. The words clink into one another like an abacus counting the days, hours, minutes and seconds when she will be asking for seconds, walking around, feisty and entertaining guests.

When you become an adult, you learn to worry. You become an accountant even if you narrowly avoided flunking high school math. Disease only increases the creasing of the eyebrows. Even after good news, the kind that makes you want to jump and click your heels, it’s as if you’ve cleared one hurdle. And, in life, you celebrate each hurdle cleared instead of anticipating the next hurdle.

So, if a fast food hamburger can appease her appetite as antibiotics address this pothole, I can be thankful. Thankfulness is the thing I’ve clutched as my security blanket when no one answers the phone after cycling through the quick list of close contacts. It is what flits high over this circumstance, a butterfly catching drafts of an unseen subtle wind, a disposition of the heart against the storm.


Sometimes It’s Enough

Cooking for Cancer | Annelies Zijderveld

A chill pervaded the air that afternoon, sending my husband and I to spoon hot Japanese curry over sticky white rice. Earlier that afternoon, my phone vibrated as the small screen lit up with a message from my Mom. I put off making that call until I could find the right type of quiet for the conversation.

In between ordering our food and waiting for our names to be called, my mother got cancer. To be clear, I made her say the word twice because I almost missed it the first time since it didn’t belong in the words coming out of her mouth. Cars whooshed by. I leaned against a street sign to steady me as my mind worked overtime to listen more closely to what else might come out.

Words scatter. They rip their hair out with a sharp-edged W before running haphazardly to the bay in a distracted state of Y. Sometimes, you don’t need words at all. As I stood outside, my spine surrendered to the street sign, my husband watched through a glass door, reading my body language and knew the news was not good. We ate our dinner that evening numb. Instead of hot comfort spooned over rice, we found a pool of lackluster food. Further tests transpired. Decisions on what was to be done occurred. Preparations have been made. This week, I fly home one day before the fourth anniversary of my father’s death and two days before my mom goes in for surgery.

I’m not a doctor, though I will be surrounded by one at the pre-op meeting, wait to hear from one after surgery and perhaps get to know a nurse or two by first name on schedule rotation. I’m not a nurse, though I will play one for a few weeks, which serves me right, after tormenting my mom with a bell which I rang for sport once or twice when I was sick as a child. My childhood served as a good training ground for whatever child specimen I will bring into the world one day.

I am a cook. I make a decent bodyguard and once worked as a deejay in college. Lest you think I will be fending off rogue assailants with boom boxes of death metal attempting to accost my mom in the hospital or at home, I am going to be wearing more of a spa robe. In fact, I intend to transform her home into a retreat such that Canyon Ranch would cringe. Perhaps I shall assume a new name as well, something calming like Heather. Perhaps I can whisk my fire personality into one of air or water.

Three weeks ago I began a project of scouring cookbooks by people I trust who correlate food as medicine and the farmacy as assisting the pharmacy. I started concocting menus for the Superbowl of cooking in a way that Thanksgiving can never try to take on because where my favorite holiday imbues every good and lip-smacking food into one monstrosity of a meal, this is for a longer stretch.

Jutted up against leafy green vegetables, warm fluffy bowls of intact whole grains get gussied up with spices. The intention is to assemble easy meal plans of anti-inflammatory foods (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, some fish, spices and tea) for the non-cook in my nuclear family.

Growing up, we ate out of a lot of cans and boxes. As someone who can’t sweep to save her life, I get that not everyone likes every household task. I fully understand that cooking can seem like a burden or chore. Whatever cooking bone I have comes from my mom’s sisters, my Tia’s, not my Mom, though she is the first to champion any culinary concoction of mine, is my original taste tester and has perfected several dishes that are part of her culinary brain trust.

The menus include ingredients put together during a dysbiosis cleanse from my previous naturopath. They take into consideration lists from my acupuncturist of alkaline non-mucus forming foods. The intent here is to help the body heal itself as Western medicine does its fancy footwork on her body.

Sometimes it’s enough to bring what you can offer to a situation. Whether it’s company, a bit of humor or stirring a pot of slow-simmered beans, I am restless to be present in the same room as my mom.  I never thought I would be saying, Happy Mother’s Day this year inside of a hospital room. Her optimism keeps me tethered to something solid when mine threatens to cave in under the rush of hot emotion. The prayers we utter nightly work as our foundation: short ones without any posturing, ones where we can breathe aloud the request for healthy cells and keep each other upbeat.

Inexplicably, the song, “Happy” claps along in my head in spite of the diagnosis. Today, she is alive. Today I can talk to her. Today, we get another chance to keep smearing the mortar along the edges of the bricks we have been laying over the years to build each other up. When my bearings begin to wobble, I can, in turn, build someone else up. She and I understand the eccentricities that make us mother and daughter. We are tear-up-the-wrapping-paper-on-packages kind of people- there’s too little time to be too careful opening the gift. It’s meant to be lived loudly now.

In my initial grief, I reached out to 10 fingerfuls of incredible cancer-free women. They are the unseen pillars I think of, the people I text or call when I want to hide in the days of happy ignorance, the days before this disease lay its finger on her body. I salute her persistent doctors. I enfold my mom in a bear hug for regular testing. I buy her yellow flowers that they may continue giving her sunny personality a visual cue.  That doesn’t make me want this to go away any less. But, I get the honor of serving her as cook, bodyguard, assistant and always, as the precocious daughter. Some things don’t change.

Sometimes It's Enough

When the Bread Hits the Pan

braided challah

People in crisis do funny things. Some take up smoking. Others find their solace swirling through chipped ice in a glass tumbler. Still, many attack the elliptical with the full thrust of their being, working it out on a contraption that goes nowhere. You’ve heard of the funny bone, perhaps have wondered about the wish bone, but I tapped into something that still surprises me now- I found my baking bone.

challah

Not that this surprises any of you if you’ve followed my escapades here or here in this plot of proverbial internet soil. I’m a woman obsessed. I’m a late nighter who finds a spring in her step to crank the oven on high and pull the slowly fermenting dough out of the refrigerator to begin its wake-up because like a lobster lowered into boiling water (which has always frightened me- let it be known), that dough will soon meet its maker, sizzling along the blisteringly hot walls of the enamel Dutch oven.

baguettes

I buy bags of whole grain flours just so I can experiment. I’m scouring my address book to find the carb curious. On my bread baking shelf in the kitchen (yes, a full shelf has been consecrated for its implements) a Pantone journal’s pages are filling with sketches of bread loaves, marking down variations of crumb, crust and taste so I can keep working toward turning out excellent bread– All this from someone who, almost a year ago, had very little interest in bread at all, and yawned at droll sandwiches. What happened?

Salvatore sourdough | Annelies Z

I inherited a sourdough pet. He threatened to eat the entire glass vessel of flour and sometimes looked like his appetite could expand further, eyeing the freezer that’s become a repository of folded, rubber-banded bags of whole grain flours. Some people stash vodka in their freezers- mine would block access to any bottles of alcohol since they would have to sneak past the bouncers of millet and mesquite flour. Don’t get me started on the half-loaves or the bags of English Muffin experiments that launch at us like puck-shaped projectiles whenever we open the door. You don’t want to go there.

Salvatore sourdough | Annelies Z

Salvatore the sourdough starter lazily settles into his mason jar or cheerfully doubles and bubbles up like the blob that might ooze over the sides. I had become so enamored of this cause and effect relationship that it set my daily schedule. Each morning, I would throw away a significant amount of starter and began questioning the humanity of that action. So, like a zealot, I began sharing progeny. But until I bit the bullet and started baking loaves of bread, I didn’t fully comprehend Salvatore’s raison d’etre even as I was contemplating my own.

San Francisco Cooking School

For several weeks, on Thursday evenings, I strapped on an apron at the San Francisco Cooking School and learned how to bake bread. My partner Suminder and I made a great team- we both gathered ingredients and he laughed at my quips. Over those three weeks, we plunged our hands into kneading pizza dough, braided challah, and shaped baguettes, slashing their tops with sharp-edged razors.

San Francisco Cooking School Kim Laidlaw

Finally, the sourdough class arrived. I came equipped with questions jotted down in my notebook and tried my best to not hijack the class or push instructor, Kim Laidlaw to the edge as my hand shot up like an antennae or my questions eviscerated any silence. We watched loaf-shaping and the fast dance spritzing of the oven as the timer counted down until the next spritz to keep the oven steamy and moist for a crackly crust, just like with baguettes.

San Francisco Cooking School Sourdough

Alone in my kitchen, I fecklessly dove into baking one loaf and learning from it. As one crisis came, I measured, stirred, turned and rested one loaf. That crisis averted, and like a hydra another two had popped up, turning out two loaves to take them on. One week I made eight loaves of bread in five days. I had become a mini machine. Something about the yeast feeding off the flour and water made whatever current circumstance a bit more bearable. That the loaves would be dispatched to friends in equal straits of calamity made them hand-slashed letters of solidarity that this too shall pass and until then, you’ve got stuff for sandwiches! Never had something so mundane become so sacred. Just-out-of-the-oven bread sings, its pockets of air hissing and crackling against the metal cooling rack, and serving up a truth: that even when we’re in the hot seat, we can still find voice enough to sing.

creation versus evolution | Annelies Zijderveld-4