I don’t even have to look at a calendar to know that it’s been two years.
Something about how the air blows differently from the duct vents when the furnace moves air molecules versus the effect of the air conditioner. It pushes out different scents and aromas through the house. One of those scents is the smell of death that still reminds me of what happened on November 2, 2019 in that back bedroom. It’s most noticeable at this time of year when the thermostat gets switched from cool to heat.
It doesn’t matter how hard I try, some reminders are never going to go away fully. There will always be residue that hides away from plain sight. On certain humid days, when the house isn’t fully ventilated or if I’ve been away for a day or two, I can tell a smoker lived here before me. That would have been at least 30 years ago. The damp air convinces the walls to release a bit of its evidence.
It’s a reminder that no matter how hard I try, I can’t get rid of the past.
Now that my cooking season is ebbing, I get to allow my writing to flow. And now that I have a renewed sense of mission in my words, I approach it with new vigor and interest.
I couldn’t verbalize it when I first started writing publicly around 15 years ago. But as I look back over the context of my work, I can read between the lines and see the mission even then.
I use my words to help you find yours.
I have come to embrace the truth that I can write. To reinforce this awakening, I put the title, Author, on my new business card. And why was this so hard to do?
Owning a name is a vulnerable acceptance. If I downplay the fact that I keep a blog and have done so for 15 years, it makes criticism easier to stomach. If you disagree or misunderstand my writing, it hurts less if I don’t think very highly of it. If I knock myself off the pedestal, I don’t have far to fall when you try to push me off.
Writing, like cooking, is a deeply intimate expression. I’m drawing something out of my soul to introduce into yours. And we both hope that it nourishes, and doesn’t bring discomfort or displeasure.
It took me about two years into the restaurant business before I wore a chef coat, let alone refer to myself as chef. That title was for others who had earned it. I had no experience and never went to culinary school.
And here I am in my mid-life years, and I am finally figuring out what I want to do when I grow up.
I use my words to help you hear yours.
It’s always helpful to find a book, or a communicator, or a podcast that presents ideas that I resonate with. I lived for many years, however, distrusting my own heart and the ideas that were coming from it. The author/speaker/podcaster is the authority. Who am I to disagree with them?
I can say this unequivocally now: That’s a dangerous way to think.
I believe inside each and every one of us is a deep well from which life-giving water can be drawn. It may not be a well of words like I possess. It might be a well of ideas, or a well of compassion and kindness. Deep in someone resides a wealth of music, inventions, and a cure for cancer. Deep in someone is a cavern full of ways to feed the homeless, or to heal the scars on our earth. Deep in someone is a warehouse packed from floor to ceiling with ways to quell the rage that burns through the political system.
And nothing will be brought to the surface without someone who believes it’s worth going down to get it.
This is what I mean by using my voice to help you find yours.
I don’t operate in the political realm. But you might.
I’m not in the medical field. But you might be.
I don’t know biology. But you could be an expert.
If my writing can kick start you to write, my work mattered.
If my writing can make you think you might have what it takes to solve cancer, my work mattered.
If my writing can lead you to believe you can open that business, then my work mattered.
This is what I mean. I use my voice to help you hear yours.
Make room. Don’t hold back.