Slow magic

Slow magic November 27, 2013

It’s almost Thanksgiving.  All night and all morning, there was a howling storm beating at the windows and walls of my house, and I was at once grateful to be inside and sad for the world we’ve created together where others are not.  If my social media streams are any indication, a lot of us are feeling that way these days.

I’m making dulce de leche, which is a process that’s completely satisfying: you pour cans of condensed milk into a double boiler, and you cook and cook it.  Over the course of an hour or two, it shades every so slowly from ivory to tan, and then to a deep, warm brown.

(This reminds me of a beautiful version of a Jewish prayer called Ma’ariv Avarim, which praises G-d as the bringer of evening, from the Wings of Awe prayerbook: “You create each day and each night afresh, roll light in front of darkness and darkness in front of light so gently that no moment is quite like the one before or after.  Second by second, You make day pass into night, and You alone know the boundary point dividing one from the other.”)

Dulce de leche cooking

It’s a pretty good metaphor, isn’t it?  The idea of epiphanal, lightning-flash change is so sexy and compelling, but for most of us, most of the time, transformation is ordinary and nearly invisible at each turn.  I’ve been away from this blog for months, caught up in a new job, my engagement to my amazing partner, a new apartment, and the work of rediscovering what my life and practice look like now.

Part of me was tempted to wait until I felt like I had fully re-settled to start writing again, but then I remembered that this process isn’t just mine.  It is the dance we all do with everything we are committed to in our lives: stepping in and stepping back, shifting this way and that, looking for the new normal, only to shift again and again.  So I’m looking forward to sharing parts of my process with you over the next several weeks, and to hearing about yours.

In the mean time, tomorrow is the day that we play 77 Things That Don’t Completely Suck!  And I have dulce de leche to stir.

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