simple cooking and words

“As to what good qualities there may be in our souls, or Who dwells within them, or how precious they are — those are things which we seldom consider and so we trouble little about carefully preserving the soul’s beauty. All our interest is centred in the rough setting of the diamond, and in the outer wall of the castle — that is to say, in these bodies of ours.”
― Teresa of Ávila, Interior Castle

IMG_3592 IMG_3595 IMG_3593 IMG_3596 IMG_3599

I’m moving to a slower rhythm, keeping things simple, deciding what can and can’t flow through my life right now. I’m sure, and unsure, being brave and honest with myself. I’m allowing, unresisting to any uncomfortable movements that are arising and just letting them be. I’m giving myself the grace to be with all it entails. This is the only way forward, this is the only way that the new story can be created from here. I must know all of my inner most ingredients, everything that makes me move the way i do. I’m spending much needed time, unraveling, dreaming, grieving, understanding and finding my way back, towards forgiveness and acceptance. I can see all  the answers, i can see how wonderfully great it is going to be, i can see the picture i’m creating and the way it will look, but i know i can’t just arrive there, to this wonderful new place. i know that there’s no skipping ahead, not on this journey im on, not this time. Everything that comes up, needs to be moved through, nothing can be rolled up, or put to the side or saved for later.. for some other time. i have arrived in a place that i wont allow myself to travel back from, i am willing to do or not do, what ever it takes to arrive completely at home with myself, again.IMG_3600 IMG_3602 IMG_3601 IMG_3606IMG_3603

lemon thyme tuna patties

ingredients: 4 potatoes, finely diced spanish onion, tuna, fresh sprigs of thyme, rind of 1 lemon, sea salt, cracked pepper, parsley, 5 slices stale bread, 1 free range egg, olive oil

method: in a food processor, combine bread, parsley pinch of salt and process into fine bread crumbs. Boil the potato’s whole with the skins on until cooked through and soft when pierced though the centre. Allow to cool slightly before peeling and disregarding the skins and mash with potato masher. Combine tuna with a little of the olive oil, onion, lemon rind, thyme, egg, with the potatoes. Stir mix through and season generously. Roll table spoonfuls into patties and coat in the bread crumbs ,  laying in a single layer on a tray and refrigerate for 1/2 an hour. Heat a non stick fry pan with olive oil and cook patties until a golden brown before gently turning to cook the other side. Serve with a  light citrus salad, hot or cold.

the interior castle

 

the calling

There is a secret place.  A radiant sanctuary.  As real as your own kitchen. More real than that. Constructed of the purest elements. Overflowing with ten thousand beautiful things. Worlds within worlds. Forests, rivers. Velvet coverlets thrown over featherbeds, fountains bubbling beneath a canopy of stars. Bountiful forests, universal libraries. A wine cellar offering an intoxication so sweet you will never be sober again. A clarity so complete you will never again forget.

This magnificent refuge is inside you. Enter. Shatter the darkness that shrouds the doorway. Step around the poisonous vipers that slither at our feet, attempting to throw you off your course. Be bold. Be humble. Put away the incense and forget the incarnations they taught you. Ask no permission from the authorities. Slip away. Close your eyes and follow your breath to the still place that leads to the invisible path that leads you home.

Listen. Softly, the One you love is calling. Listen. At first you will only hear traces of his voice. Love letters he drops for you in hiding places. In the sound of your baby laughing, in your boyfriend telling you a dream, in a book about loving kindness, in the sun dripping down below the horizon and a peacock’s tail of purple and orange clouds unfolding behind it, in the nameless sorrow that fills your heart when you wake in the night and remember that the world has gone to war and you are powerless to break up the fight. Let the idle chatter between friends drop down to what matters. Listen. Later his voice will come closer. A whisper you’re almost sure is meant for you fading in and out of a cacophony of thoughts, clearer in the silent space between them. Listen. His call is flute music, far away, coming closer.

Be brave a walk through this country of your own wild heart. Be gentle and know that you know nothing. Be mindful and remember that every moment can be a prayer. Melting butter, scrambling eggs, lifting fork to mouth, praising God. Typing your daughters first short story, praising God. Losing your temper and your dignity with someone you love, praising God. Balancing ecstasy with clear thinking, self-control with self-abandon. Be still. Listen. Keep walking.

What a spectacular kingdom you have entered! Befriending the guards and taming the lions at the gates. Sliding through a crack in the doorway on your prayer rug. Crossing the moat between this world and that , walking on water if you have to, because this is your rightful place. That is your Beloved reclining in the innermost chamber, waiting for you, offering wine from a bottle with your crest on the label. Explore. Rest if you have to, but don’t go to sleep. Head straight for his arms.

And when you have dismissed the serpents of vanity and greed, conquered the lizards of self-importance, and lulled the monkey mind to sleep, your steps will be lighter. When you have given up everything to make a friend a cup of tea and tend her broken heart, stood up against the violation of innocent children and their fathers and mothers, made conscious choices to live simply and honor the earth, your steps will be lighter. When you have grown still on purpose while everything around you is asking for your chaos, you will find the doors between every room of this interior castle thrown open, the path home to your true love unobstructed after all.

No one else controls access to this perfect place. Give yourself your own unconditional permission to go there. Absolve yourself of missing the mark again and again. Believe the incredible truth that the Beloved has chosen for his dwelling place the core of your own being because that is the single most beautiful place in all of creation. Waste no time. Enter the center of your soul.

 

-Mirabai Starr, The Interior Castle