"Don't write that stuff," said Balthazar, when he read my last post, "A Mighty Battle."
"Personal stuff," he said,"I don't think she (The Storm) would like it."
"Get the hell out of my breathing corner," I wanted to say--but I didn't, of course, because I've chosen a public forum for my breathing corner, where everyone else is welcome, so my good husband and his genuine concern for our children, certainly, has every right to be here.
"What should I write?" I said, instead. Although, when I did, I felt my insides fold a little around the already dim writer's light inside of me--because all day long I write what other people tell me to write, and here, in the early mornings or late at night, when everyone else is sleeping and when I have time, I write what I want to write, about the things that matter to me: Mother, Wife, ...and Writer.
"Write about cookie recipes and stuff. The good things about us."
"Hm," I said, so that he would know I was considering what he said.
But..., but I am Mother, Wife, and Writer, and this third piece of me, well, it has me inclined to honesty.
"But it is good stuff," I said to Balthazar, after a few minutes. "It's a triumph. Sure, she had some difficulties, but she overcame them. You can't have triumph without adversity. The good and the bad come hand-in-hand."
"She wasn't on the bench all season," he said.
Well, none of us are, but neither are we always on our game, and I don't believe we do ourselves any favors to pretend we are. At least here, in my little breathing corner called Haphazard Truths, I want to keep it real.
Still, there are a few issues. First there is the matter of those two small titles that always fall before Writer, and the obligations they entail. Then, there is the integral contradiction within the concept of my public private breathing corner.
A conversation with an old friend, earlier this week, wherein he said, after admitting he reads my blog, "I almost feel I know too much," has given me further pause, and caused me to recall my communication with another writer, whom I very much admire, who referred to blogging as "burping on the page for a mass audience." ...And so, right here, right now, Confidence just took the upper hand, and my wrists are bent back--which, incidently, is opposite of the position they need to be in for me to type at the keyboard or even push a pen.
But, I haven't cried mercy, just yet. I have some thinking to do, thinking about privacy and family and writing, and how this might or might not all work out. Perhaps my Haphazard Truths belong in a handwritten blue ink and in a drawer in my bedside stand. Perhaps I should share less, edit more. Perhaps I should cry mercy. Perhaps I should cry Writer, like Joan Didion and a hundred other Mother/Writers before me. Perhaps I haven't the heart. Perhaps I haven't the right. Perhaps I haven't the talent.... (See how she does that? How she slips away? Confidence, she is an elusive bitch!)
In the meantime, to appease Balthazar, the love of my life; and because it is Sunday morning and Sunday mornings should be reserved for long, lazy and delicious times of family, and big breakfasts, and late-morning sunshine streaming in the windows; and because it is nothing short of a crime that I sullied yours with all my ugly page-burping (although, that mighty burps tends to follow majestic feasts reminds me again that the good and the bad are highly co-dependent); because of all this I offer you my favorite recipe of all time, my Blueberry Pancake recipe:
1 and 1/2 c white flour
1/2 c wheat flour
2 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 and 1/2 c milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
clean, fresh blueberries
cream cheese (optional)
1. Mix flours with baking powder.
2. Add eggs, milk and butter.
3. Whisk until smooth.
4. Add blueberries.
5. Heat a tsp of vegetable oil in pan at medium high.
Balthazar's grandmother made a habit of throwing away the first pancake she made of each batch because, she said, "The first one never turns out well. The pan isn't hot enough yet." Our generation values each and every pancake too much to waste any, so I like to set my pan at medium high, waiting a good several (maybe 10) minutes for the pan to get nice and hot, before I turn the stove down to medium for cooking. While I'm waiting, the yeast in the baking powder gets a chance to start working, so the pancakes are flufflier.
5. Reduce heat to medium. Spoon batter into pan in shapes and sizes to your liking.
6. Flip when you begin to see little air bubbles popping up in the pancake.
7. Serve hot with syrup.
8. Or for my famous Ruby Cakes, pile two or three cakes on top of one another, each separated by a thick layer of cream cheese.
9. Top with syrup.
10. Enjoy! (Burp into your napkin, if necessary.)