today. i came home early from work. intentionally. maybe it was an act of rebellion. i like to think of it as an act of self-preservation.

i came home. removed the dress pants and the heels and the earrings and the rings. jumped into my comfy clothes. went into my kitchen… my safe haven. because in my kitchen… i can hide from anyone… anything.

even in writing... i can’t hide.
even in fiction... i can’t hide.

everything i write comes from inside my mind, imprinted with the breath of my thought.

my thoughts… my words… are truths. but bread… is something else.

take one glass bowl and add warm water. sprinkle some yeast into the water and wait until the yeast foams. add the flour and sugar and start to mix the warm slop with your fingers. roll it up into a ball and knead the hell out of it. put the dough back in the bowl and drizzle it with some olive oil. cover the bowl with a towel and wait… wait... for that dough to rise. and while you’re waiting… you can read a silly book (only a silly one)… or take a nap… or watch a chick flick. and every few minutes… maybe… you can peek at your dough through the glass bowl and see how much it’s risen. because the sight of that dough inflating is almost… almost… like having a handmade bonbon inside your mouth. though you don’t want to peek too too often… because a watched pot will never boil, right? at any rate, do what you will while you wait but at all costs… do not write. do not make your mind work. the whole idea is to give your thought some rest. and once that dough is as big as a beer belly… go to town!

and a few hours later… you’re at your dinner table… chewing and gnawing on those parts of your soul that you were discarding when you were kneading that dough… when you were killing your arms… your hands… your fingers… killing the thoughts that needed to be strangled. because… they were trying to strangle you.

i write… to examine my mind.
i cook… to purge my soul.

and the more there is to purge… the more food ends up on the table.

and so, tonight: crusty bread… arugula salad… fennel au gratin… braised mushrooms… spatchcocked cornish hens… rise pilaf… and strawberry tarts.

but… back up. while i kneaded and stirred and chopped and split and diced and rubbed and stuffed… and purged… the hour grew late… dusk arrived… and then night. and in came my husband jingling his keys and saying, what smells so delicious? aren’t you cooking up a storm! and when we sat at the table with all the food laid out in front of us, he said, what are we going to do with all this food, nevine? and i said, we’re going to eat it. because food… especially food consumed in the company of loved ones… is solace. not only for the belly. but for the soul. the purged soul. purged… and empty… and needing to be refilled.

and given that so much purging had needed to be done, today… one short afternoon following a long day of work would never have sufficed. so, i told them… at work… i said, i have a personal emergency to attend to. and… did i lie?

ME is a personal emergency.
and ME will not wait, anymore.