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OrdinaryTimes 1.15-Festering

I hold one principle nearest to my heart: Start with whatever’s threatening to fester. I hold this close because again and again and again, it’s proven reliable. When cooking, and stumped with what to feature that evening, this notion’s served me well again and again and again. Maybe because the threat’s not yet quite manifested, and I end up getting peak ripeness. Maybe because my situational leniency saves me a hassled trip to the purveyors. Maybe it’s just magic, but I live by it.

I’m a soft-hearted cook. I hate to toss that last leftover cup of even stuff I know won’t keep, so I have a larder half-full of questionable material. This quite naturally leads me to combine question-ables, yielding unreproduce-able results. Tonight’s supper went down easy, anyway. Tomorrow’s might as well, I figure.

This principle might extend far beyond the supper table. I, like any writer, have boxes filled with leftovers. My archives rival the Oxford Unabridged, volume wise. I’ve started many more creations than I’ve ever finished, my life seems encircled with leftovers.

I finished one song after leaving it fallow for thirty years, not realizing when I started it that I was setting myself up for a dandy creation two life-times later. I shove a lot to the back of the tub, leaving a disquieting bathtub ring every time I bathe. One dandy starting point for the next bath, or the one after that.

This season, mid-August, is the start of festering season. I cleaned out the front flower beds yesterday, gleaning two large yard waste bags of expendables. The garden, thanks in no small part to the freaking deer, is more than half festering, unproductive, chewed off vegetable plants. My writing queue, too, seems a bit ripe for rejuvenation. I read when i’m writing, sensitive to the style of the current author, and absolutely insistent upon finishing whatever I’ve started. This reading is another form of festering.

The mornings have turned unseasonably cool, and my writing urge is surging. I’m reading a lot right now, reviewing my archives, certain that I must cobble together something for the next supper. Tomorrow, perhaps even tonight, I’ll burst out with another long-form piece that will shock me. I always forget that the flavor comes from festering.

©2013 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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