As I present these meditations from our mysterious M.A., first talked about here, I find myself in a bit of a quandary. There are times she seems to contradict herself.
For instance, in the passages below, you’ll see how she first tells herself to not take her home too seriously, then in the second she says never neglect it. How do we reconcile these thoughts?
I think it’s important we realize that by all appearances, they are her private reflections. It’s natural that her thoughts drift from one idea to the next, first believing one thing, then another. It is, after all, how we grow as thinking individuals. Always open to new ideas. (Would that all people were this flexible, eh?)
Also, I can’t help but notice M.A.’s fondness for the semicolon. I counted up to four uses in one page alone! To own the truth, I grew faint. Did she use them correctly? Hell if I know, and I’ve been to college. (Perhaps, at least in this, Kurt Vonnegut was mistaken.)
But enough with our rambling preamble. Let us begin. Here are two more of M.A.’s entries (plus a recipe!) that I managed to decipher from her atrocious handwriting:
How common it is for a woman to seek retreat, to dream of a small cottage by the sea. “One day, one day,” she tells herself.
You allow yourself to be dissatisfied, thinking how a different place – a prettier home or better location – will bring you happiness. A shelter to escape, a place where you can let go of your cares and worry. This is but idle folly. The power for retreat lies within every woman; yea, it lies within her very soul.
Meditate on this, calm your thoughts, fill your mind with peace and the knowledge of a good day’s work. Give no heed to the superficial trappings of your surroundings. Better instead: seek your comfort from within, and when doubt prevails, make yourself a tasty salad; salads are good for the soul.
Do not neglect your home, however small or plain it may be. Women, far more than men, are attune to their surroundings; Tidy up.
Clear out that pile of magazines, dust your bookshelf, shake out your rugs.
Make certain that wherever your eyes rest, it is a pleasing space, simple and clean. Surround yourself with beauty; take care of your environment, both indoors and out.
And get a fern. Ferns are nice.
From M.A.’s Recipe Drawer:
Grilled Chicken Salad
A lovely, simple salad, perfect for lunch or a light summer dinner
- 2 cups grilled chicken
- 4 cups assorted salad greens*
- sliced red onion
- dried cranberries
- 1 avocado, peeled & sliced
- crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese
- chopped walnuts or pecans
- Honey Mustard Dressing
To make dressing: Add to blender 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 2 Tablespoons honey and 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard, plus a few dashes of salt and pepper; Blend until oil is fully incorporated.
*Note from C.J.: I used a bag of baby salad greens and since I had leftover grilled chicken on hand, this meal was super quick to make. Plus, M.A.’s recipe for honey-mustard dressing is not only easy to make, it’s delicious. You gotta try it!