cultivating & crashing

an organic collection of notes, observations, and thoughts

Grief

By Jini Maxwell

When I think about grief, words don’t really come to mind. What I do get is the visceral feeling of being too deep underwater. When I think of grief, I imagine the sudden stab of fear that accompanies a realisation that you’ve dived deeper than you first thought: your trapped breath like a weight in your chest, the glimmer of oxygen perpetually too many arm lengths away.

Grief is more than a feeling. It’s really an environment, a new condition to your life that you have to meet with your whole self. No amount of swimming against the current, or scrambling up the banks, will make it easier to navigate. Most importantly, it is not a puzzle you can think your way out of. It’s something more bodily than that, like the mammalian diving instinct.

At first contact with water, an infant’s heart rate slows, oxygen moves more slowly, and the glottis spontaneously blocks access to the lungs, all before the conscious mind can react at all. Living with grief is an animal experience, and surviving it requires the action of a body that knows how to keep being when the mind couldn’t possibly go on. Your body knows how to keep you safe, not just before your conscious mind, but instead of it. You just have to be in it, and it has to be processed as a part of you.

The bad news is, no amount of time in rivers of grief will prepare you for a new one. The good news is, you didn’t drown then and you’re not drowning now. Your body is carrying you through the experience on instinct. Take a deep breath and listen to yourself from the toes up. Feelings are hard, inconvenient and unpredictable, but the less time you spend fighting your body’s messages, the more you can learn from them.

Survival is, in the end, a game of trust, and not of thought. You have to trust that you can survive your own emotions. You have to feel, even if it’s overwhelming. The most important thing to remember about the river of grief is you’re not surviving it wrong. It’s not taking too long. You’re not moving too quickly. The river you are in is just the river you are in, without moral resonance. Trust that you can cope with doing what you need.

It’s easier to think of grief as something of a redemption arc, starting with pain and ending with the well being you knew before. But mourning exists without narrative; it’s not something you can itemise in a eulogy. The river’s current will stick with you for longer than you expect, and you’ll emerge and re-emerge from the worst parts of it feeling as shocked by the ways you’ve stayed the same as you are by the way you’ve changed. Like a newborn in a swimming pool, trying to analyse your progress is only going to make the water feel heavier around you. Your body knows what it’s doing.

In the moments that you feel yourself entirely submerged, trust that your heart rate may slow, your throat may close and the pressure may build, but your body knows how to navigate this space, even if your mind does not. Every fibre of you is already working slowly and carefully to navigate this new emotional landscape, if you let it. That’s how survival happens—by gentle instinct, not by achievement or analysis. Take the time to be in your body, listen to every soft and hurting part of yourself whenever you feel the urge: beat to beat, without scrutiny, until you can resurface.

However you’re going, you’re going okay.

Swang

Why women drink

From Quartz

I don’t drink very much, but I can’t help sympathizing deeply with this article, which I suppose means there are more ways that we silence our agonies, which originate from more than just being women in the world.

happy daddy issues day

Temple of My Familiar

Carlotta’s heart was breaking. She felt it swell with tears and then crack. What does anyone know about anything? she thought. The scene with her mother emptied her of knowledge. Once again, as when she was a small child, she felt she knew nothing. That if the chair on which she sat suddenly became a canoe that floated out the window on the river of Zedé’s tears, she would not be surprised.

v de vino tinto

Georges Duboeuf Brouilly

blanco
Robertson Winery Chemin Blanc
Villa Maria Marlborough

The Mystics of Mile End

I am reading The Mystics of Mile End. I tried to finish it quickly so I could move on to something else because I didn’t like how it started. But between yesterday and today it got weird and picked up and now I am enjoying it. In it, a young woman is losing it after her father dies. She tries to understand kabbalah through a manuscript her father had just finished writing before he died, finding clues and symbols in everything she sees, most of which are not what she’s looking for, but it’s all still a mad journey in pursuit of the answers she needs.

Mike wrote to say he loved me because was getting on a small plane and he was a bit scared. For an hour and a half, while I read, he was Shrodinger’s cat, and there was nothing I could do about it but wait. Reading the book exaggerated the surreal nature of the wait.

It’s been several months — maybe years? — of having a very profane existence, and I suspect it is in large part due to the fact that I have been reading non-fiction. It’s fiction like this book, the kind that warps your feeling of reality, the immersive kind that distorts the myths pertaining to and sensations of what it’s like to be alive, that transport me to a space that I know so well that it is comforting, even as it is discomfiting. That distortion, that suspension of belief, has somehow been more constant in my life than any other part of it. The plasticity of the world around me has been such that I know that no place that I know is fully true. Not the perfect sunshine of San Diego, not the vast flatness of the Pampa, not the verdant humidity of Maryland, not the subzero overcast grey of Montreal winter. Not the ways I’ve felt over the course of my life, not the languages that I have spoken, not the way people are in the places I have been. Everything is relative and subject to change when you change the scenery, if you do something different, or even if you just wait long enough. But the sweet, seductive confounding of your senses, of your grasp on the world and what it’s about, that will always happen when you get caught up in any book, song, trip, movie, or story that you become engrossed in.

Como agua para chocolate

Tortas de Navidad

Ingredientes:

1 lata de sardinas
½ chorizo
1 cebolla
orégano
1 lata de chiles serranos
10 teleras

Manera de hacerse:

La cebolla tiene que estar finamente picada. Hay que tener cuidado de freír elchorizo para las tortas a fuego muy lento, para que de esta manera quede biencocido, pero sin dorarse excesivamente. En cuanto está listo se retira del fuego yse le incorporan las sardinas, a las que con anterioridad se las ha despojado delesqueleto. Es necesario, también, rasparles con un cuchillo las manchas negrasque tienen sobre la piel. Junto con las sardinas se mezclan la cebolla, los chilespicados y el orégano molido. Se deja reposar la preparación, antes de rellenar lastortas. De preferencia las teleras deben ser horneadas en casa. Pero si no sepuede, lo más conveniente es encargar en la panadería unas teleras pequeñas,pues las grandes no funcionan adecuadamente para esta receta. Después derellenarlas se meten diez minutos al horno y se sirven calientes. Lo ideal esdejarlas al sereno toda una noche envueltas en una tela, para que el pan seimpregne con la grasa del chorizo.

Mole de guajolote con almendra y ajonjolí
INGREDIENTES

1/4 DE CHILE MULATO
3 CHILES PASILLA
3 CHILES ANCHOS
UN PUÑO DE ALMENDRAS
UN PUÑO DE AJONJOLÍ
CALDO DE GUAJOLOTE
UN BIZCOCHO (1/3 DE CONCHA)
CACAHUATES
1/2 CEBOLLA
VINO
2 TABLILLAS DE CHOCOLATE
ANÍS, MANTECA, CLAVO, CANELA
PIMIENTA, AZÚCAR
SEMILLAS DE LOS CHILES
5 DIENTES DE AJO

CON VERDADERO ENTUSIASMO TITA SE DISPUSO A PREPARAR CON UN DÍA DE ANTERIORIDAD EL MOLE PARA EL BAUTIZO. PEDRO LA ESCUCHABA DESDE LA SALA EXPERIMENTANDO UNA NUEVA SENSACIÓN PARA ÉL.

LAS ALMENDRAS Y EL AJONJOLÍ SE TUESTAN EN EL COMAL. LOS CHILES ANCHOS, DESVENADOS, TAMBIÉN SE TUESTAN, PERO NO MUCHO PARA QUE NO SE MARGUEN. DESPUÉS SE MUELEN EN METATE JUNTO CON LAS ALMENDRAS Y EL AJONJOLÍ.

TITA, DE RODILLAS, INCLINADA SOBRE EL METATE, SE MOVÍA RÍTMICA Y CADENCIOSA MENTE MIENTRAS MOLÍA LAS ALMENDRAS Y EL AJONJOLÍ.

TITA, CON MANOS TEMBLOROSAS, TRATÓ DE CONTINUAR CON LA ELABORACIÓN DEL MOLE. CUANDO YA ESTÁN BIEN MOLIDAS LAS ALMENDRAS Y EL AJONJOLÍ SE MEZCLAN CON EL CALDO DONDE SE COCIÓ EL GUAJOLOTE Y SE LE AGREGA SAL AL GUSTO. EN UN MOLCAJETE SE MUELEN EL CLAVO, LA CANELA, EL ANÍS, LA PIMIENTA Y, POR ÚLTIMO, EL BIZCOCHO QUE ANTERIORMENTE SE HA PUESTO A FREÍR EN MANTECA JUNTO CON LA CEBOLLA PICADA Y EL AJO. ENSEGUIDA SE MEZCLAN CON EL VINO Y SE INCORPORAN.

TITA SE ESMERABA CON ANGUSTIA EN COCINAR CADA DÍA MEJOR. DESESPERADA, POR LAS NOCHES, INVENTABA UNA NUEVA RECETA CON LA INTENCIÓN DE RECUPERAR LA RELACIÓN QUE ENTRE ELLA Y PEDRO HABÍA SURGIDO A TRAVÉS DE LA COMIDA.

EL ÚLTIMO PASO ES MEZCLAR TODOS LOS INGREDIENTES EN UNA OLLA GRANDE DE BARRO, SE LE AÑADEN LAS PIEZAS DEL GUAJOLOTE, LAS TABLILLAS DE CHOCOLATE Y AZÚCAR AL GUSTO. EN CUANTO ESPESA, SE RETIRA DEL FUEGO.

Caldo de colita de res

INGREDIENTES

2 colitas de res
1 cebolla
2 dientes de ajo
4 jitomates
6 zanahorias
1 mazorca de maíz crudo
¼ de kilo de ejotes (judías verdes)
2 papas
4 chiles moritas (chiles secos ahumados. Podemos sustituirlos por pimientos choriceros)

PREPARACIÓN

«Las colitas partidas se ponen a cocer con un trozo de cebolla, un diente de ajo, sal y pimienta al gusto, (las zanahorias y la mazorca de maíz). Es conveniente poner un poco más de agua de la que normalmente se utiliza para un cocido, teniendo en cuenta que vamos a preparar un caldo. Y un buen caldo que se respete tiene que ser caldoso, sin caer en lo aguado» (…). «La cebolla y el ajo se pican finamente y se ponen a freír en un poco de aceite; una vez que se acitronan se les incorporan las papas, los ejotes (judías verdes) y el jitomate (tomate) picado hasta que se sazonen» (…) A las dos horas y media de cocción, se «vacía el caldillo ya sazonado con las papas y los ejotes en la olla donde se había puesto a cocer las colitas de res. Ya que se vacía, solo hay que dejar hervir por media hora todos los ingredientes juntos. En seguida se retira del fuego y se sirve bien caliente».

Champandongo

Ingredientes
1/4 de carne molida de res
1/4 de carne molida de puerco
200 gramos de nueces
200 gramos de almendras
1 cebolla
1 acitrón
2 jitomates
azúcar
1/4 de crema
1/4 de queso manchego
1/4 de mole
comino
caldo de pollo
tortillas de maíz
aceite

Manera de hacerse:

La cebolla se pica finamente y se pone a freír junto con la carne en un poco de aceite. Mientras se fríe, se le agrega el comino molido y una cucharada de azúcar.

Cuando la carne se empieza a dorar, se le agregan el jitomate picado junto con el acitrón, las nueces y las almendras partidas en trozos pequeños.

Cuando la carne ya está cocida y seca, lo que procede es freír las tortillas en aceite, no mucho para que no se endurezcan. Después, en el traste que vamos a meter al horno se pone primero una capa de crema para que no se pegue el platillo, encima una capa de tortillas, sobre ellas una capa de picadillo y por último el mole, cubriéndolo con el queso en rebanadas y la crema. Se repite esta operación cuantas veces sea necesario hasta rellenar el molde. Se mete al horno y se saca cuando el queso ya se derritió y las tortillas se ablandaron. Se sirve acompañado de arroz y frijoles.

Chiles en nogada

Ingredientes:
25 chiles poblanos
8 granadas
100 nueces de Castilla
100 gramos de queso fresco añejo
1 kilo de carne de res molida
100 gramos de pasas
¼ kilo de almendras
¼ kilo de nueces
½ kilo de jitomate
2 cebollas medianas
2 acitrones
1 durazno
1 manzana
Comino
Pimienta blanca
Sal
Azúcar

Preparation
Begin shelling the nuts several days in advance, for that is a big job, to which many hours must be devoted. After the nut is taken from the shell, you still have to remove the skin that covers the nut. Take care that none of this skin, not a single bit, is left clinging to the nuts, because when they’re ground and mixed with the cream, any skin will make the nut sauce bitter, and all of your previous work will have been for nothing.

After the nuts have been peeled, grind them on the stone with the cheese and cream. Finally, add salt and white pepper to taste. Cover the filled chiles with this nut sauce and garnish with the pomegranates.

Filling the chiles:
Fry the onions in a little oil. When they start to get transparent, add the ground meat, cumin, and a little sugar. After the meat has browned, stir in the chopped peach, apple, walnuts, raisins, almonds, and tomatoes until it’s seasoned. When it’s ready, add salt to taste and let the liquids cook off before removing from the heat.
Roast and peel the chiles separately. Slice them open on one side and take out the seeds and membranes.

cosas que me gustaría estudiar

matemática
medicina
hebreo
programación
un instrumento

tengo casi 30 años y finalmente tengo ganas de estudiar.

fainá

150 gr harina de garbanzo
450 gr agua
10 gr aceite
sal + pimienta

dejar hidratar en la heladera 4 horas o más.

aceitar placa, precalentarla en horno a 180C.

meter al horno 40 minutos.

para variar:
romero
cebolla de verdeo
tomates secos