10-Line Tuesday

June 19, 2018

failure is an option

My first casserole - baked for my parents on an overcast early summer evening
and served with the unmitigated pride and exultation of someone left
to her own devices - was barely edible. I can say this now, 30 years later,
how I'd been so heavy-handed with the olive oil and undercooked the squash,
how, in a fit of improvisational verve, I'd made a gleeful orgy of spices that did not,
in the end, find each other attractive. But this wasn't the point. Instead,
what clings to the vines of my memory is the collision of effort and joy my body
made against the task, my hands focused and fervent, how the countertop
held the weight of an outcome without the judgment of not meeting it, and how the meal
made its way onto the plates as the sun began to set, imperfectly, through the clouds.