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

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

blank page

I sat down to write and nothing came. So I played. Moving through chord structures, trying new combinations. Playing in C# major, something I'd always feared as a pianist and realizing it's not so tough after all.

But no words. Nothing.

A text came from Seren: put a blank page in front of you.

A blank page. It stared at me; the inspiration came. Realizing that, like the page, each day is blank and waits to be filled. Interactions start as blank pages, waiting for the dialogue to be written.

One line at a time, one minute at a time. Life comes in fragments that we build on, chain together, and make:
- a relationship.
- a day.
- a mistake.
- a victory.
- a life.

We unite the good moments with the bad, the brilliant flashes with the awkward stumbles, the clever insights with the foolish blundering: each of us has these moments. How will I put mine together?

There's a song there, and it's taking shape.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

daring cook, november

Soufflés! This month's challenge was once again something I'd never made before.
Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided two of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.
I will admit that their reputation as cantankerous little tests of a cook's ability, not to mention expectations of tiptoeing around the house lest the souffle get annoyed with our heavy footfalls and collapse in a glorious flat mess of failed cookery, had me a little intimidated. However, the instructions and tips on the Daring Kitchen website made it much less daunting. It was good to be able to use up lots of eggs, too - our hens have been laying well.
We tried the chocolate one first; while it didn't rise as much as we'd hoped (need cleaner edges on the dish, I think), it tasted divine. My sous chefs (the 3 girls) enjoyed helping and all agreed it would be well worth trying again. The recipe from Gordon Ramsay referred to a soufflé as "a sexy pudding" - a good description. The flavor was amazing, the texture silky - delicious and smooth to eat.
We next did a savory one, using spinach and gruyere cheese, now feeling a little more confident in soufflé -land. The flavor was amazing, the sous chefs loved taking part in this one and all of the girls raved about the taste. We found it rich, but the lightness of the soufflé meant that it wasn't too much. Delicious and light but lots of taste. Definitely one we'll add to the favorites list.
Now that we feel more comfortable with this, we're thinking maybe crab and leek? Hmm...

Thursday, 4 November 2010

home again

Calgary and the GMA week were both amazing, and both left much scurrying around in my mind. Which either means that I'm thinking a lot, or there is plenty of space in there for said thoughts to scurry. I'd like to think the former, though I do wonder sometimes.

The weekend brought opportunities for new contacts, hearing stories and advice from seasoned artists, taking in the Covenant Awards and some great performances. It was a chance at learning in a format I've never experienced before, and both D and I tried to glean all we could from our time there.

One point of clarification that I seem to be getting from the weekend is that I should continue to focus on my writing. I've often thought that my musical strength is more in the writing, and the weekend gave me several little landmarks that pointed me once again in that direction. On the plane ride home, as I pondered this and sorted through thoughts in an internal dialogue, and one sentence came at the end of it all: "you have more songs to write".

And for all the loveliness of the mountains and the vast expanse of blue, blue sky, nothing of the weekend quite compared to the tacklehugs of three very excited girls who awaited us at home. That was blissful. Several days' worth of laundry later, and I'm feeling back to normal.

But really, if we allow things to affect us, whether tragedy or joy, there can no 'back to normal'. We find a new 'normal'. Let's see where this new normal takes us.