We have all these terms for groups of animals. A grumble of pugs. A wreck of seabirds. A bed of oysters. A wisdom of wombats. A pride of peacocks. All of these, singular terms to quantify (simply) the wild creatures that surround us. Here’s my question: what might we call the throngs of feral thoughts that sometimes plague us? Surely I’m not alone in thinking them, the streams of consciousness.
I practiced Ashtanga yesterday. It was the first time in a couple weeks, actually. #workingonitmaybe
My teacher paused the class at one point to share something that made the last ten months of unintentional practice click into place; he explained that maybe, despite appearances, we are never at our deepest in a posture. Rather, we are freeing the habits that prevent us from reaching the fullest expression of a posture.
I wondered if the rocky practice I have had over the last ten months (which I talked about here, before I took a nice, long break) suddenly made sense. I get on the mat and each posture talks, and I react, and I have run away. What if, with each posture, there are whispers of what is untethering? What happens when those whispers become too loud?
When class was over, my teacher focused on a portion of the opening chant, which he translated to mean something along the lines of, “freeing ourselves from the poison of conditioned existence.” It was at this precise moment that I became Xanther from The Familiar, completely incapacitated by the number of questions seizing my experience of the world.
The thing is: there are so many postures. Which means: there are so many habits. Maybe the point is not to tackle all of it at once. Maybe we just need to try with a little bit of grace each time (even if, say, the grace is a matter of interpretation, and was only visible for, like, 1.2568 seconds). Maybe we gain more of it each time we unravel more of the knots we have tied around our sensitive and not-so-sensitive spots.
We decide a lot of things should and should not be certain ways, and maybe it’s okay to sometimes let those definitions redefine themselves. Especially when it means a bunch of apples collides with a tumbling of berries and the teensiest sprinkling of lavender during a smattering of thoughts.
What results is a richly decadent reinvention of a childhood favorite; in its simplest form, applesauce is a homely, affordable staple. Heat bubbles the fruit and sweet into a transformed state, one that receives the whirring buzz of the handheld blender, nullifying any bits and bobs into slush-like texture. Once chilled, we take spoonful globs of floral, fruity purple.
It is, at its heart, what we knew, but also, what we didn’t. And we take another bite.
One Year: Spiced Chocolate Chip Acorn Squash Ice Cream Sandwiches
Two Years: Double Chocolate Cookies with Butterscotch Chips and Pecans
Three Years: Black Pepper Pork Chops with Garlic-Shallot Butter
Berry Lavender Applesauce
Makes about 5 cups
8-10 tart apples, peeled and cored
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
2 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup water
1/4-1/3 cup granulated sugar (to taste)
juice of one lemon
1 tbsp molasses
pinch of lavender
pinch of salt
In a large pot on medium heat, combine apples, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, water, sugar, lemon juice, and molasses, stirring to combine. Heat until the fruits are soft and tender, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat (about 15 minutes total). Use a handheld blender to cream the mixture to desired consistency. Add lavender and salt, to taste. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Purplesauce will last up to five days refrigerated in an airtight container.