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Posted Nov 29 2008 12:19pm
I kneaded bread dough yesterday for the first time since my head and neck were whacked open. It was done on a counter set to high for my height, and it wasn't easy. Yes, my bakers muscles are underused, but the strain and pain in my neck and shoulders was clearly a yelp from my poor seperated muscles and nerve fibers.

I don't think I'll EVER be able to bake again like I did. I think I might be ok with that, though. At most I could work part time in a kitchen where the tasks were varied. I don't think I'll ever be a bread baker..or anything where I worked my shoulders.

Atlas shrugged. He didn't have a chiari malformation.

I helped turn the dough into a hundred and thirty little birds with seasame seed eyes, a traditional Ukranian wedding treat. These birds were tied in tulle, and they nes now, waiting to be passed as favors. Some of them look like coiled cobras. Some like ducks. Some like turtles and snails, and most look like platypuses, not doves. Mine are fat bastards, proof that my muscle memory for intricate hand work has gone the way of my herniated cerebellum, as well.

Tonight lemons were grated for the cake I start tomorrow, three tiers of square cakes, lemon with a white chocolate mousse filling, soaked in a raspberry liquor syrup. I'll start baking tomorrow, split and fill and crumb coat the cakes Tuesday, let them chill, then Wednesday transport them to the theater where the wedding is and while the bride and groom to be hang and focus lighting, I'll be in the backstage area rolling fondant and storing the tiers in the beer fridge the techies use. Should be..interesting....?

I had dinner tonight with the grooms parents and brothers family..entertaining the usual questions. I know describe myself as an "ex" pastry chef, who did some work in India and is going back because life did a few hard transitions and my focus is shifting..into what, I don't know how to answer. How do I say I want to put naughty boys in headlocks and have them read me books, or that I want to work on safe drinking water for slum kids, or that I want to get my hands dirty in the trenches and stay out of offices and away from doctors and away from some ghost of myself, and that I wanted to be the wife of an Uber Shrink and my heart was broken and rebuilt and every definition of myself flew out the window and that some sort of universal shift happened and everything slammed into sharp focus and took my breath away? How do I explain AR and the temple in Goa and astrology charts and caste systems and vomiting nonstop for a month and that I want to go back?

I say instead when the questions are asked that I had some problems with my health, and that my priorities and needs are shifting, and I'm going back.

And the responses are still shocking to me, the quiet knowing smiles and nods. I don't expect these. I don't know what to do with them, especially when I feel like my story has so many holes. Perhaps part of it is these people tonight had just suddenly lost a daughter, a young mother, my age, with no warning. Perhaps they know somewhat that feeling of fleetingness and wanting something to be one, something to be whole.

Perhaps not.

I have 11 more days.
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