Saturday, January 29, 2011

shaking cream

it's 2011.  or rather it's almost february 2011.  i am thinking about taxes, about how i never finished my resolution list, about simplifying.  i may always be thinking about simplifying.  doing it is another story.

i think a lot about demarcations of time, and i make a lot of lists, so new years resolutions are pretty much habitual for me.  i was over at my friend grant's house for delicious xmas tamales and we got to talking about our resolutions.  grant is a numbers man, and likes to set only a few resolutions, ones that are easy to quantify, where the success or failure is clear.  i was out to dinner with my friend Finn, complaining about work and picking her brain about how to set better boundaries and we also got to talking about resolutions. she likes to set one resolution, one thing to be more conscious of, where the success is not a yes or no, but a more or less.  i tend to make epic resolution lists.  messy, difficult to remember, and lengthy.  i accept pretty low success rates because the lists are so long and ambiguous.

i want to streamline.  this is easier for me to say than to do.  i am a packrat if not a borderline hoarder, a workaholic, a jack of all trades, and my attention span is brief at best.  i start a lot of things i don't finish.  A LOT.  i am nervous, scattered, and i cannot sit still.  i just left one of my three jobs at the end of 2010, with the sincere goal to devote more energy to one of the other two jobs, and to redevelop a personal life.  to embrace down time, reconnect with friends, be a better pen pal, make things outside the garden and the computer.

i want to slow down.  to move with intention, to complete tasks and walk away from them.  i have gotten to a place where i work all the time because rather than doing something, finishing it, and leaving it behind, i will sit at the computer all day and do nothing half the time.  not nothing, i will agonize over the  fact that i am not getting anything done, but even knowing that will not motivate me to accomplish anything.  i want to remember that i love my work, not just tell myself that i love my work.

this morning i made my second small batch of raw milk butter.  i make this butter by pouring a quart of non-homogenized whole raw milk into a wide mouth mason jar, letting it settle in the fridge until the cream floats to the top, skimming the cream off with a spoon into a smaller mason jar, letting that sit on the counter for about 12 hours to ripen, then shaking the jar of cream for almost half an hour until a ball of butter forms inside a moat of buttermilk.  This morning i shook cream while i drank coffee and looked at design blogs.  i shook cream until my arms were sore, trading hands every few minutes to give my shoulders a rest.  i shook cream because i believe in ritual and process, and i know that everything good takes time.

it's these little acts that remind me to slow down, to step away, to remember that lauryn hill was so right, everything IS everything.  i want to keep this in mind this year and i want to delight in the wonder of this bizarre and serendipitous life that i am so fortunate to walk through.  and maybe i'll write about it every now and again.  or maybe not.  i guess we'll see.