Friday, March 2, 2012


When i lived in Halifax, the "boys" (three of them) that i lived with had this dishwashing thing, this sponge-on-a-stick of which the handle is filled with soap so as to eliminate the need for an actual sink of soapy suds: just give your dirty bowl a little rub with the stick sponge and wa-la, dishes are done. They were quite proud of themselves--i was quite disgusted. They were not to thrilled when i threw it out...

I didnt see one of these again until i stayed with my Cindy on the opposite coast, nearly four years later. This gal, who i admired, admire/appreciate/love/can-no-longer-imagine-my-life-without had one of those repulsive soap dispensing sponges. For some reason though, in her home, it wasnt.

Thats how quickly, unthinkingly, things change for me with Cindy, "Cind" as i like to call her. In our short, and even shorter recurring time together, we have managed to slip into place with eachother, as if always belonging there. I cannot begin to describe how aweing our friendship is to me, how willingly i let someone in, how natural it was to do so, how easy it was to let go of the sponge being a festering pocket of germs and rather a brilliant water-saving, convenient tool (i have been using one myself since living with her--if the "boys" could see me now...).

I can however, describe (a bit) Cind. Except for her voluminous hair (one of our many commonalities) she is tiny. Except for her hair, and personality, actually. This is a woman both intelligent and constantly inquisitive. She is particular yet relaxed, unfocused on her need for perfectionism. Entirely full of energy while seemingly reserved. A spaz. An intellect. Type A. Better at sitting than me. Driven. Concerned. Hopeful. Realistic. Ponderous. Part of. Watching.Precise if not exact. Cautionary at one thing while throwing caution to the wind with the next. A reader, a writerm a music lover. Interesting. Interested.  We are both similar and complimentary.

With one great difference. Although we are both quite particular about certain things, we respond differently. How to explain? Cind has these ideas in her head about the way things should be. Take for example, pizza: the crust should be thin, slightly charred, not heavily topped, but softened enough by toppings to droop at the center, foldably, as you pick up a slice. And so she seeks this perfection from pizzeria to pizzeria...while i seek to create it at home.

And this is another thing i love/envy/hope-to-learn-from Cind: how to appreciate something you have found/desire to find at the hands of others. Although she still has ideas of how things should be--authentic, befitting, quintessential--she is far less of a control freak about it than i am. Far more willing to take risks for the satisfaction of finding what is right at the mercy of someone elses interpretation. I would love to have this inhibitionless curiousty. Perhaps i will adopt this trait like i have adopted sponges-on-sticks when we travel together this fall.

Cind and i are going to Morrocco/Spain/Portugal together this fall. Originally i was going solo, presently i am far to excited to share this experience with her that i am incapable of imagining it without her. To be a part of her quest for world dumplings.

Yes, dumplings. Think donuts, perogys, gnocchi, fritters--any doughy bit of business cooked in aromatic stock or oil. Like rice pudding, a part of most all cultures. And like cereal to me: Cindys passion.

She is seeking to learn on this trip the art of preparing/making/eating, the significance of a particular dumpling in a particular culture. Actually, i dont know what she is seeking. I know only that it is so beautiful to be fueled by something. And that in the same way she conquered first a half, then full marathon, riding a bicycle, learning to rock climb (we did the latter two together, by firsts among many, sojourns into Cindys quest-like interests, she will learn the art of dumplings and find refuge, perhaps, in doing so. In a way perhaps similar to the way that i found, and continue to find, refuge in her--through curiousity and trust. I know this trip is huge for her; i know it will be huger for me than i expected it to. I know how lucky i am to be travelling with her--not just overseas.

...hmmm, i wonder what the cereal culture is like in Morocco...?

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