Blog Archives

About the lack of posts…

I’m sorry. I was consistent for a really long time. 

So here’s the thing. I’m really busy. I’m really stressed. I’m sorting through some not-very-fun life things.

Thus, I do not have two spare brain cells to rub together. Don’t worry, I’m Doing Okay. Like I said, just busy. Just tired. And in the grand scheme of things, I love this blog, but there are very few immediate consequences to not doing it. Right now, my energy needs to go elsewhere. 

And that’s Okay. 

Slowly, surely, I’m convincing myself that it’s okay to not do everything. Every bird needs to roost eventually.

I’m also trying very hard to appreciate the little joys right now. Like this chair I bought. Look at this chair!

I saw this chair at my church’s rummage sale and fell head-over-heels in love. It’s a little thing with slim lines, probably late nineteenth or early twentieth century.
And it has a Green Man!!!

Look! Look look look! It’s a Green Man (disgorging type), right there! Also called “foliate heads,” these guys show up in a lot of Medieval English cathedrals. They’re probably a pre-Christian fertility symbol and I absolutely love them.

“How much is that chair?” I asked breathlessly.

“A toonie?”

I rummaged through my pockets. “I have a dollar and fifteen cents.”

“Done.”

After considerable logistical planning, it’s now in my kitchen and it brings me joy every time I sit on it, or catch sight of the motif. And that, honestly, helps immensely. When a lot is crashing down, the smallest joys make the biggest difference.

And I think I once again wrote a blog post by accident. There is probably a lesson there, too. 😉

Anon, 

KT

What I’m Listening To This Week

A long time ago, I learned the Irish variant of “Loch Lomond,” which is titled “Red is the Rose.” The Scottish version has very similar lyrics of grief and loss. I particularly like this arrangement, though: it’s got the grief and loss, but the “dai dat” harmony running throughout suggests a marching-on and hopefulness.

Which I kinda need right now.

Baking and Magic

I’ve started baking again. During my undergrad, I did it all the time: bread, cakes, cookies, scones. In hindsight, I was pretty adventurous. Then life happened, time slipped away, and it was just so much easier to buy bread from the bakery up the street.

But then a few things happened.

First of all, an old mentor counselled me to stop living in my own head so much. “You are twenty-six years old,” she said. “So go out! Have fun! Do things! Have the experiences you’ll be writing about for the next twenty years.”

She’s right, of course. For the past few weeks, I’ve been seeking out experiences: going to the opera, meeting new people, contracting food poisoning…

Henry Wallis, “Chatterton” (1856). Basically me, whilst ill.

And getting back to baking, because that’s always helped me get out of my head.

I mean, it’s physical: from measuring ingredients and shaping dough, to the washing-up afterwards. The motion of my hands—feeling dough, watching egg whites stiffen, all those sensory things—helps shut my brain up. It gives it something else to focus on. Those quiet moments—especially when kneading bread—sometimes give the subconscious enough space to breathe, enough to whisper.

There’s also something magical about baking. You’ve got all these ingredients that are inedible by themselves, but when you combine them the right way and add the right amount of heat, they become something delicious! 

And there are baking traditions! Cut Xs in the loaf so the Devil doesn’t get into it. (Also, it lets the heat in. Toss a pinch of salt over your left shoulder for luck, because it’ll go in the Devil’s eye. You need to treat yeast like a guest: give it something to eat, a soft bed, and keep it warm (i.e. make sure you have a fermentable sugar source, don’t shock it by chucking it directly into hot water, and dough rises faster in the warmth).

See…sometimes, if you’re looking for magic, you need to make it your own damn self.

That’s the point of my mentor’s advice, isn’t it? If you want magic, go make it. The old saw about coaxing the muse to the desk holds true…but you don’t want her to find you empty-handed.

Besides.

If nothing else, you might get some baked goods out of it!

-KT

What I’m Listening To This Week

I’m noodling a story with a countertenor in it. Countertenors are males who can sing into the contralto/mezzo-soprano range. It’s a very distinctive voice type: I enjoy them precisely because it’s a little uncanny. There’s something about the vocal quality; you know it isn’t a female voice, despite being in the typical female range.

And then there’s pieces like this. I also quite enjoy Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” and this is beautifully sung. But the idioms don’t quite match, so it’s also…unearthly. Which is precisely what I’m hoping for with this story, so there you go. Enjoy!