I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

food, meet writing

I've been pondering a phrase I came up with a few years back. On trying to think just when, it was in our old house, so that puts is back at least 8 years. I'm not sure I was the first to come up with it, but it was new to me and summed up perfectly that certain 'aaaahh' I get as a reader when words are put together in just such a way that it rolls off the tongue, flits happily around your mind, nestles snugly into your thoughts.

A Delicious Phrase. If a reader could taste the words, it would make them sit back and savour.

In my (recently limited, I admit) writing of prose and (mostly) lyrics, I wriggle with glee when I find them. But as I've been pondering them today - mowing the 3 acres of lawn gives one much time for thought - I realized that those delicious phrases reflect different types of food - the fast 'wow!' and the slow 'aaahhh'.

Here's what I mean.

Sometimes when cooking you toss the ingredients together. They're the perfect ones, the just-right mix of flavour and texture, and immediately you taste it and - pow! there it is. Like strawberries steeped in sugar and splashed with baslamic vinegar. Yes, really. It will make you think of strawberries a whole new way, and you will apologize to them for not having given them enough credit. Some of the words come all in a giddy rush and jumble, clamouring to be let loose and - pow! there's the expression, the turn of words, the wow moment.

But sometimes it all stews. Flavours mingle and marry, and what you first put in the pot to cook oh-so-slowly takes on a new identity. Like the cassoulet I made a few months back. It was started days before so the duck could get to know the rosemary and fat, the beans could sit and talk to the onion and garlic, and the whole could come together and quietly sit, sharing themselves until - aaaahhh! The top was lifted off the roasting pot and there! There! A spoon in the mouth, and you sat and pondered the taste you were experiencing. There are phrases that come like that, too - adding a bit of this and a bit of that, sitting and reading and rereading, changing and editing. And finally, one day you realize it's done. And the timely bits you added in make it wonderful. Where it was a week ago, a month ago, just wasn't right, but it needed time to stew and mature to where it was ready.

And with that deep thought, I have made myself hungry and shall go eat. Or write. I'm not sure.

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