I have this fear that, waiting so long to write you, I open up a space between us.

And I worry that each day of silence grows it, makes it harder to stitch up. But I’m suspicious of talk, of apology–it only puts more of the ordinary between us–and anyway what we have here calls for a different kind of devotion. Let me only say, then, that when I wrote you last, I was, maybe we were, living under different weather.

There’s rain tonight. And on a night like this, under rain like this, I am tempted to speak in aphorisms, temped to say, the rain wets us all, or something like it, which is what I meant when I said talk is ordinary. It’s a quiet rain, a reverent rain. And it does. The same rain falls on me as you, is falling, will fall. Maybe with the showers, then, with the gentler storms, the deeper deeps, the reverence we feel as it spatters the windows, we begin to find an answer to the space between us.

But it’s troubled, this notion that distances may be bridged. There is a theorem I’m fond of—it says that one thing can never truly touch another, the space between the touched and the untouched thing being an infinity of halves. You always have yet to cross half the remaining distance. A discrete quantity cut in two is still discrete, and still a quantity. This is how mathematicians speak of longing.

Tonight it seems fitting and right to speak of longing this way. It respects the distance. It reveres it, turns it to a thing worthy of devotion, which is just another word for longing. Divide by two, another word for longing. Halved. Cut in two. And I’m mindful of the consequence of this thinking, which is that I am permitted to feel that you are not so much farther from me now than you would be if you were here with me now, in this room, as I write you.

Maybe yesterday when it was not raining, this trick of halves would not have resonated so deeply, would not have rung me like a bell. Perhaps it would have wrung me like a wet towel. I don’t know. But still, there you were. As I rode the train from work I wondered what I’d write you. I was sitting in a seat facing west, facing home, and I watched the sun set, the sun burning like a secret in my hand.

– AM
7 April 2011 2:30 AM

Vegetable Soup with Bacon

– 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
– 3 cups cabbage, chopped
– 1 large yellow onion, diced
– Green beans and yellow wax beans
– 1/2 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
– Bunch of collard greens or kale, chopped
– 1 can white beans, drained & rinsed
– 1.5 quarts chicken stock- 1/4 cup dry white wine
– 3 tbsp tomato paste
– 3 slices slab bacon
– Parmesan cheese rind, grated Parmesan cheese
– Salt and pepper

Fry bacon in a soup pot until fat renders out and bacon is crispy. Remove from pot, set aside. Fry onions in bacon fat until they turn transluscent. Season the onions.

Deglaze pot with white wine before onions brown, making sure to scrape the brown bits off the bottom. Melt tomato paste together with onions and wine, until it begins to bubble and steam. Add chicken stock. Add parmesan rind, fried slab bacon, chopped greens and carrots. Season. Simmer for 20 minutes. Then add cabbage, green and wax and white beans.

Now taste, and season–not too much. Simmer another 10 minutes. Then add chopped romaine lettuce and simmer for 5. Serve with crushed black pepper, grated Parmesan cheese, good bread and a big spoon.

7 thoughts on “Reverence

  1. coco says:

    Angie!!!!! What a lovely post. Might just be one of my favorites. I’ve always been troubled by the notion that two things never truly touch. That spaces between two things are infinite. I always thought I was so silly for being somewhat bothered by that. I’m glad I’m not alone– I vant soup!

  2. Rachel (Alive in the Fire) says:

    Yum. The words, the soup: they’re all so inviting 🙂 I’m going to see if I can make this in the next week… it’d be a perfect “winter is ending” meal!

    Thanks for sharing, and enjoy the weekend.

    Rachel @ alive in the fire

  3. Kurt says:

    also perhaps an incorporation of heisenberg’s uncertainty principle into a future post, which says that we can never know with complete certainty an electron’s position and velocity at one moment in time (i.e. that we don’t ever really know ANYTHING, ever), would be a nice continuation of this post. or it could just be too depressing.

  4. Blake says:

    Some answers to the space between are simply never found. I find that this distance and the longing that coincides are both a blessing and a curse. Longing is quite powerful as you say; almost spiritual. But when observed by the unaffected, it tends to appear as madness or obsession. As much time as I feel I have spent in the in-between, I believe I have grown accustomed to it. So much so, that the thought of actually touching any one of my originally intended destinations now seems somewhat strange. As a previous post touches upon, I prefer to think that my place is in the electron cloud. Thanks for that, Kurt.
    Excellent food and thought, Angela. You are very talented, as always.

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