Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Heart of an Artichoke, Brain of a Scarecrow

"Heart of an Artichoke And Other Kitchen Journeys" by David Tanis is the first book I picked up seriously since 'the episode' on September 30th.  Yes it was a Christmas gift--albeit an amazing one.  And yes, I love, nay, seriously love artichokes.  But I have about 30 books that need to be read, especially Karen Armstrong's "Buddha", something I've been really wanting to read since my need (yes, need) for Yoga has grown. So, it's a bit of a mystery to figure out.

Now, having thought about it for a minute or two, I think, actually that it was the word 'journey' that made me pick it up first--because I feel I've been on a bit of my own journey these last few months.  As you all know from past posts, my head is giving me fits and starts in the form of a constant headache...the result has been interesting and surprisingly full of silver linings.  However, one of the big problems has been my inability to read--lack of concentration, double-vision, etc...keeps me from really digging in and when I read, I tend to read for hours.  And, now that I'm back at work, I'd been using my reading time up on things I need to read there.

So, it was with more than a little hesitation, that I got into bed the other night with this book.  I figure I'd thumb through it, drool over the recipes and pictures, get frustrated and then put it down. But nope...there was some seriously good writing to pour over here...and writing I could identify with--it seems he and I share a 'lingua franca' if you will...although unfortunately not a love for Chocolate Chip Cookies...anyway, his recipe for getting the reader engaged in the food is with memories of tastes and smells, nostalgia via other peoples stories, and a simple view of what a meal can be--whether that meal is a plate of potato salad and a beer (yes!) or a deconstructed turkey.

More than all of this, though, this book served as a reminder to me that Rome, or David Tanis as it were, wasn't built in a day, and that I needed to apply that same reminder to me and my own current journey, a deconstructed turkey if there ever was one.

So, instead of seeing the restricted diet, the need for exercise, the meds, the yoga, the knitting, the naps, the embroidery and the slower brain as a phase to get through and forget, why not see it all as seasoning for the finished dish that will eventually be Rene? Hopefully not the finishing touches, but definitely things that will stick with me, and be a part of me as I make them my own, for a long time to come.


  1. Rene, I love this post and your allusion to the 'finished dish that will eventually be Rene'. I have likewise been trying to figure out what the finished dish called Janie will be like - hence my month long trip to Ghana to sleep on a rush mat and finally give something back to the world. I hope to return a better person.

  2. wow..impressive. I can't wait to hear all about this trip. And remember, you are good already!