I left the ipod in my drawer and the running shirt in my closet. I wore a sports bra, but my tummy was bare leaving me with a slight feeling of vulnerability and self consciousness. I said goodbye to the mirror, leaving my critical self image standing there looking desperate and worried. I let go of the regimented route planning, and knowledge of exact mileage, instead opting to carry a watch for the sole purpose of making sure I get back in time for our evening plans. I shed the city, watching it fade as I followed the paved, winding river path.
The city towers looked like blocks stacked on an island. The sky was covered by gray clouds with braille like slits of scattered birds, which moved and wove in and out of formation like notes cut into a sheet of music for a player piano. It wasn’t until I took off the pavement, which lay beside me in great folds, that words began to have their way with me.
Every day I am alive my story changes completely. Every action, every moment, is both simple and impossible, interesting and a drag, mean and gentle, selfish and misunderstood. It is my mind that does the changing.
After realizing my own mortality, I took a recipe for living, unloaded my identity, and began to pick berries. The ingredients don’t matter as much as their flavor.
Christina came home while I was putting the finishing touches on this salad. “I ran to the top of that mountain we ran yesterday” I said, while thinking about the heavy rich greens of the forest.
“I want to do that too” she said.
“Okay, wanna go now?”
“you can’t go twice” she said “That’s excessive, you’ll get injured again.”
“Nope” I said.
“oh yeah, well then what injured you before?”
“my ego. I ignored my body and the cues it was giving me because I imagined that winning something would bring me happiness. I forgot that winning doesn’t bring happiness, living does.”
It’s not about running fast, or running far, or how much I run compared with other people. It’s not about the composition of my diet, the origins of the potato I am eating, or how many calories and grams of saturated fat, salt, or cholesterol. It’s about flavor. Pure, rich, creamy, bitter, salty, sour, tangy, spicy flavor.
Lemony chicken, kale, and pasta salad
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large dutch oven.
add 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 large split chicken breast
brown chicken on both sides, moving it around the pan often to prevent sticking.
Add 2 cloves minced garlic and about 1 Tbsp cooking wine (white).
Flip the chicken and add 2 diced zucchini.
Cook until chicken is almost done, then add 1 large bunch kale and 4 more cloves garlic.
Cook until kale is wilted.
Remove mixture from the pot and fill the pot with water and a pinch salt. Boil water and cook 1/2 lb pasta.
Meanwhile, slice chicken breast into bite sized pieces, prepare some fresh grape tomatoes by slicing them into pieces, and squeeze the juice and zest from 1 lemon over the top of the kale.
When the pasta is done, drain and add.
Toss everything together and add some fresh mozzarella.
Season with fresh ground pepper, basil, and 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar.
Christina’s vote “This salad dared me.”