The Art of Dinner in a Minor Crisis

If you kneel in a field in the June sun and bend your head to find the reddest, fattest strawberries nestled under the rows of nodding green, the disordered thoughts dancing like mad crows in your skull may settle.

They may sit quietly, exhale, and line up in a row of their own, waiting. Waiting and ordering themselves, making themselves smaller, unruffling their black feathers until the mad avian chatter begins to quiet. It slows and finally stops as your fingers grasp and pull, again and again, until your little green box is spilling over with red June gold. The birds in the brain wait.

And then, when you turn your attention to the row of snap peas, fat and plentiful, low to the fresh mud, the plumed thoughts may order themselves into plans. Chirruping among themselves softly about pots of roiling salty water, showers of salt, heaps of creamy cheese. In the gentle June sun with creaky knees and muddy feet, you and your addled mind pick perfect peas and settle the rattle within.

You plan.

If you find then that you are crying, never mind. Stuff a warm berry in your mouth, maybe a crisp pea. It will pass.

Later, in the kitchen, take your mad thoughts and your crisp peas, wash them and prepare them to serve you. Tip them into a boiling pot with the bowties, still crunchy, and wait. Just for a minute. Then, pour the tamed thoughts, the bowties, and the peas into a great shallow white bowl with bright lemons and mounds of ricotta.

Eat immediately, with a crisp white and lots of pepper.

The fat berries wait, winking on the counter, and the thoughts, drunk and sated, settle and sigh into the soft June dusk.

Dinner has thankfully settled another day, shut it up and put it to bed.

Write it down.

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