about bliss

Saturday, October 08, 2005

daily practice and a bowl of soup

My friend M- is running the Chicago marathon today, and I know he’ll run an amazing race. I managed to run 4 contiguous miles yesterday, my personal record. I’m running right around 10 minute miles, which pleases me. A month ago I ran my first 5K and finished in just under 30 minutes, a complete surprise and major accomplishment. I attribute much of my success to carefully crafted iPod playlists...I’m especially fond of a 9 minute long mix of the Killer’s hit song “Mr. Brightside,” with its sweeping strings and soaring melancholy. I remember thinking a few years ago that I would never be one of those “runners,” and now I here I am, feeling my feet itch for that expanse of sidewalk or trail. I recently read an article about finding the fitness outlets that best fit one’s personality, and running and yoga, my other passion, fit my introspective type. I like the space of mind that running creates, not to mention the feeling of connection and harmony from yoga...

I have that same feeling when I’m in the kitchen, carefully yet creatively combining ingredients into something (hopefully) harmonious. Now, some days the exercise and the cooking is much more mundane, a necessity to suffer through so I can rest after a long day of explaining the sheer joy of certain punctuation marks (my top three: the dash, ellipses, and exclamation mark) or to explain that the one word summary of Thoreau’s philosophy is not, indeed, “boring.” But when my daily practices are at their best, I’m at my best.

I’ll sadly miss the farmer’s market today, as I’ll be pulling espresso drinks for caffeine crazed customers at my part-time job. But Mom’s selecting some veggies for me from the farmer’s market in my hometown, and either she or Dad will bring them to me, and I can’t wait to see what transformation they inspire. The weather’s just about right for butternut squash soup, one of my relatively new favorites. I have a delicious recipe from a friend, which includes a swirl of molasses, cheese ravioli, and a butternut bisque. I’m looking forward to making the soup largely for the memories it recalls--a celebratory luncheon with dear friends in the southern town I called home for 6 years. I will call forth their laughter, wit, and kindness in a steaming bowl of soup.

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