There's been a lot of change in my life in the last six months or a year, and I've mostly avoided reflecting about it in writing. I've tried writing about it and tried fictionalizing it: I've concluded that I'm just not comfortable with my own interpretation of either the last six months or my current state in a way that I could write from. Nevertheless, given the recent calendar roll over, there's a lot of reflection in the air.
The longer I don't write, the larger the burden of not writing becomes. Surprisingly, I've not been alarmed by the feeling that I am not trustworthy observer of my own life: I'm confident that I am rapidly reaching a place where the present and the future will be easy to write from, particularly on the smaller scale. There's just this hole in the larger narrative of my life, that I feel obligated to feel.
But maybe it's alright if I don't. Or if I don't just yet.
It also feels fine to start writing about little things that have changed, things that I'm enjoying in my life that are new and different. This will be the first post of this kind, but hopefully not the last.
Today I had four people at my house for brunch.
I made collard greens cooked with a whole onion, an entire head of garlic, and one beef sausage for flavor. I'd never made collards before (it was great). For next time, I definitely need a larger pan, and need more onion and garlic, perhaps adding mushrooms instead of the sausage, which was nice but not noteworthy. Will make again.
I also made oatmeal, of the steal cut variety cooked using the overnight method where you boil the oats in milk and let it simmer for two minutes, and then let it cool and sit over night, and then boil again in the morning and simmer for 10-12 minutes. My modification was to put a couple of tea spoons of olive oil in with the oats at night. I served with blackberry jam and greek yogurt.
And, of course, several pots of coffee. (Chemex, for the win.)
Simple, not a lot of work. Excessively delicious. Nice to have people in my living room, chatting, eating, and enjoying being with people, and a good way to spend time on a weekend.
I used to think of weekend mornings as an opportunity to write or work on my own projects that required a lot of attention and focus. I'm not sure that I really like this way of ritualizing creativity. I also now live in the same neighborhood as a large number of my friends with half a dozen brunch places (or more!) within a mile. Brunch became a comfortable baseline ritual, and something that I'm much more interested in carving out space for.
While I certainly enjoy going somewhere for brunch, there's something great about having people over and feeling awesome and comfortable about having friends over.
I don't think I'm a different person now than I was before. I don't think its fair or correct to narrate the changes in my life as a progress narrative. Lives change, settings change, people change: things are different, and perhaps that's enough.