White Chocolate Coconut Carrot Cake

The Spring Playlist 2020

Friends, I have been quiet. I suppose I haven’t quite known what to say.

It feels remiss not to acknowledge the global atmosphere we are all currently feeling. I know many people in many different circumstances right now. I have seen some taking precautions, and some not taking precautions. I also know that some of you have been placed in a space of economic uncertainty, and I truly hope that the light at the end of the tunnel is fast approaching for you.

Speaking as one of the at-risk population right now, I will share that I have received some acknowledgement, and I have also received none. This is fairly standard.

Beyond the fact that I have been on chemotherapy for 11 years, I only very recently recovered from a couple-month battle with pneumonia. In November, in a clear moment of Wrong Place, Wrong Time, I caught someone’s sickness. The illness progressed and progressed until I was bedridden. A couple rounds of antibiotics, some liver problems, and a lot of rest later–I am recovered, just in time for a global pandemic.

I have heard a lot of commentary about how Coronavirus is only affecting the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. Those facts are often provided in an ignorant effort to offer comfort. The truth of the matter is, those elderly people deserve all the years they have left. The truth of the matter is, I do not look like there could be something happening underneath the surface. I never have. And very often, others like me are in the same boat.

When the moment arrives that someone is remiss with me-just as it has always been before a virus started spreading around the world-I simply know that I have encountered someone’s shadow. Their inability to provide tenderness or understanding to me is simply a reflection of their inability to do the same toward themselves.

[I know like I know that we are all learning.]

I don’t know how many of you have been impacted by the Coronavirus, whether deeply or superficially. I don’t know how many of you are like me, with compromised immune systems. It felt improper to share what I originally wanted to share with my Spring Playlist, which is a lovely thought that I might tell you about sometime.

I suppose I just wanted to provide a little transparency at a time when many of us are experiencing uncertainty. We don’t know if we’ve been exposed. We don’t know if we are carriers. We don’t know how our loved ones are doing. We don’t know how they will do, if they’ve been exposed. We don’t know if it’s safe to go out anywhere. We don’t know if we can trust each other. We don’t know when we will go back to normal. We don’t know what normal will mean after this. Many of us doubt whether the person whose hands are leading this country through a difficult time is very capable.

Which means that, in sharing this playlist right now, as winter turns to spring, I felt I had to say something. Even though I really don’t like admitting how sick I was recently, and I was hoping to continue on as if nothing had happened. Even if I have simply summarized some things that you knew generally. Even if you didn’t need to know about my history with my white blood cells or my lungs. Even if I can’t quite figure out what would be helpful right now. I feel like, for a world full of self-isolated and/or quarantined people, we are all in the middle of our own unique stories.

So, I hope that your story has an upswing. I hope the trials that might come before the upswing arrives are nothing you can’t handle. But mostly, I hope that you are able to find some comfort at this time. I hope that you are safe. I hope that you have all that you need. I hope that you know how to reach out. I hope that you can rest. I hope that your loved ones are safe. Or, I hope they get better. Thank you for going through the wave, whether it was begrudgingly or not. Above all, please know that there is one person, right here, who is wishing you well so hard that it cannot be undone.

Here is a playlist made for the turn of the season, shared in good faith that other tides are turning, too, even if we can’t quite see it yet.

I love you. ❤

Salty Potato Chip Toffee Crunch

Basque Burnt Cheesecake

Gingerbread Latte Cake [or, Coffee-Cardamom Cake with Gingerbread Cream Cheese Frosting]

The Winter Playlist 2019

Go to the limits of Your Longing

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

Red Velvet Cookies