Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tumbling Whole

Reading the headlines: Stocks sink after government bailout...
I have been in a thoughtful mood today. Something's happening. Something already happened. I remember feeling something like this, the world shifting.

Looking to the present, I'm so happy that my friends and family are well. We have bacon. We have beans. We have the Art Tatum Village Vanguard recordings to help us along shelling the beans, and Mama's voice soothing me over the line in her instructive way about the cycles of projects and how we must be prepared to embrace new frontiers.

We have autumn winds blowing the hair akimbo with leaves and cool weather prompting the trench coat and a darker shade of lipstick again. We have Lolo immersed in his formulas, the toasty smell of the heat turned on again to come home to, a neighbor knocking at the door asking for an onion. We have visits with Barbara and Stephane's second girl just at the beginning of an expansive bloom into girlhood. Wisdom and innocence at the same time. Far reaches to a precarious sociability followed by her quick grasp for the pacifier she can't let go of quite yet. We have these things to remind us.

We have the good butcher developing a cough, something that reminds me to cook the meat properly. We have various poultry necks at 40 cents a pound with which I made stock on Sunday to pour over the fresh shelled coco beans that we will enjoy tonight. The boys at the Halle on my block waving to me with a twinkle in their eyes well before I've even contemplated what's for sale today. I feel lucky to be a part of this living web.

As each recipe represents a moment, an evening, a season, we can rely on this - the short cycles of our lives - to bring us back to the present. These recipes link us one season after another to life, no matter what today's news brings. It is very important to record these moments while they tumble whole to our senses. I appreciate them, even as I call to mind today's changes. I suppose this means I am growing up.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

All our problems can be traced to Greed. Nevertheless, America is suffering and that pains me.

Thanks for writing "Tumbling Whole" today. I needed that. It was as though you provided a lovely soft shoulder.

1:24 AM, September 18, 2008  
Blogger Sara said...

Your beans look great!

5:32 AM, September 18, 2008  
Blogger David said...

Nice cassole! : )

9:13 AM, September 18, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So very well said...

3:24 PM, September 18, 2008  
Blogger Chelsea said...

That was lovely.

3:43 PM, September 18, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, very well said..... Your blog is one I turn to to ground me in what is important in life. It has also taught me over the years that the word budget does not mean deprivation, an important thought for these times. The best revenge is to eat and live well!! Btw, looks wonderful.

5:39 PM, September 18, 2008  
Blogger Here, There, Elsewhere... and more said...

Great, humbling post...we have food, a roof, good health and that's so much more than a great many people on earth...
Many of us have lost a lot but, so far, it's only material loss - the least important of all possible losses, in my opinion - Still, life goes on and those beans look great..:)

9:07 PM, September 18, 2008  
Blogger Don McNulty said...

Health and happiness to you and yours Lucy.

10:03 PM, September 18, 2008  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Thanks a bunch, friends, for stopping by.

10:12 AM, September 19, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

love the shoes

3:13 AM, September 20, 2008  
Blogger Helene said...

I kept telling my husband that we are going to have to eat a lot of beans in the coming months...and like this?....oh yes!
Another great read!

12:16 AM, September 21, 2008  
Blogger Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Well said and well, um, cooked. You remind me that I have yet to make my mom's bean soup recipe here in southern Italy...thank goodness it's getting cooler now :)

6:50 PM, September 21, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lucy,

Here we are in this tumbling US, my husband and I, preparing to leave for France. We are most fortunate to have this adventure to look forward to, even though we leave with worried minds. We have found your blog through a lot of research about Lyon and what an inspiration it has been! Thank you for the amazing photographs and posts! We are at this moment looking for an apartment in Lyon, a venture that has proven to be so difficult that we are happy to have your inspirational blog to return to when everything becomes too overwhelming. If you have any suggestions, or if you don't mind chatting about Lyon, send us an email at We would appreciate it. :-)

5:07 AM, September 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need a bean pot, that's it. It's decided. I need one as much as I needed naps and my own pot of white beans this weekend. What a week it was! Hang tough Lucy, it'll all be fine, I'm sure of it :-)

3:35 PM, September 22, 2008  
Blogger Eileen said...

Lovely post and a comforting meal!

3:06 PM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger Nicole said...

Lovely thoughts and introspection. I need to do more myself.

12:36 AM, September 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucy I know you are busy, but save us from the totally depressing news with one of you wonderful posts. Hopefully about your new country house or a new addition to your family. We need distraction. Thank you very much.

10:14 PM, September 25, 2008  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Thanks everyone, for the great comments. Alright, Anon. We will sign tomorrow on the house and I'll have plenty to share.

6:05 AM, September 26, 2008  

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