feeling like hell, making a mess
(by katie steele)
For some, baking is a manifestation of the deep well of domestic love within them. Afternoons in the kitchen become a crusty, crumbly, moist, fruity, chocolate-y, flakey tome of the saccharine love and goodness that has besotted their lives.
I bake because it’s more constructive than too many glasses of amber colored liquids, doesn’t leave me as bleary eyed and exhausted as crying, and, for those few fleeting minutes, suspends the anxious ruminations cluttering my mind. As such, when I start feeling like I’m about to lose my shit, I pull out the flour, sugar, hope to God there are still eggs in the fridge and swear the hardened cap off the bottle of vanilla.
On days like this, don’t even get me started on the vanilla. It’s a huge glass bottle of Mexican vanilla I’ve had for ages, and the cap gets stuck every. damn. time. I can remember the lyrics to volumes of insipid pop songs but I can’t remember to buy a new bottle of vanilla. Although, I usually use pliers to wrench it open, in the true spirit of the ugly kitchen, I’ll confess: there are bite marks on the sides of the cap as well.
Lately, my internal world has played host to a choir of banshees shrieking epic choruses of: my self-doubt, the ever-growing fear that my life will never amount to anything special or important, the fear that I will never have the courage to initiate change or the strength to embrace the current situation for what it is.
I’m afraid that the quiet rage will stay, well, quiet and uncomfortable, but will never become a transformative catalyst.
Perhaps there are more layers to my penchant for baking. You take a whole mess of crap, slump it into bowls, beat at it with blunt instruments, pour it into pans, mold it into shapes, and put it directly into the heat. And you don’t move it or remove it until it has become something different.