Good things take time. This is a concept that is often lost in this Internet age where large doses of information get put out into the ethers daily and people are expressing themselves in ten second tweets and status updates rather than considering poetry or taking time to craft meaty sentences and mind their words. I have been working on a novel for two years now and have found myself feeling guilty that it is not yet done when I think of the mass amounts of do-it-yourself-ers out there publishing at breakneck speeds. But then when I actually read the amount of stuff that’s being put out there in the guise of literature these days, I am proud to be one of those old fashioned writers who is taking my time to concoct a well written tale. My only problem is that I have been stuck for five months because I am at a point in my tale that is serious and psychologically deep and hits a chord close to home for me so I have been experiencing major resistance in putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard). I decided to join National Novel Writing Month this November to pump up my juices and also, to gain the benefits of having a writing buddy.
I am so glad I did. I find that in my otherwise hermit existence, whenever I open myself up to connection with another human being who is interested in the same things I am and who is living their life in a way similar to mine, I actually benefit from mysterious riches that could not have been foretold otherwise. For NaNoWriMo, I put out a call for a writing buddy who would write every day with me and with whom I could share daily emails rich with inspirational quotes, mutual cheerleading and general support as we committed to writing our 1,500 words a day for thirty days. Cyndy answered, a woman I had met at a mutual friend’s art gallery in the desert five years ago, but had only known through her Facebook posts (enough to admire her fantastic abstract artwork) since.
In that mystical and synchronistic way of the universe, these past seven days have not only produced glorious amounts of words for both of our books but in our morning emails to each other we’ve encountered an emerging friendship built on unknown commonalities like our deep respect for herbs and roots and traditional Chinese food and medicine wisdoms, our paths as independent female artists and an unlocking of stories that have been buried deep within that have been dying to be told. Neither of us has gone a day without weeping open various pockets that have been closed shut for years; cleansing old wounds; and uncovering that our own resistance in writing the stories we wanted to write had led us here to this point where we are both ready now to open and share.
Yesterday, after my sixth cry on this journey while listening to Beethoven in my darkened office, and in homage to the love of sacred food Cyndy and I share, and because both of our hearts were particularly hurting, I decided to concoct a sacral chakra stew for the both of us. It became Absent Mother Stew, an earthy, grounding dish for those with hurting hearts who need the energy of mother to comfort them and ease their pain. For those without nurturing mothers, or those who never had a real mother, or those who are just missing their mothers who are not around, this stew is for you!
1 dry jujube date (found at Chinese markets)
1/2 c. dried mung beans that have been soaked overnight (by the time they have soaked overnight they will have bulked up to about 1 to 1-1/2 cup)
2 small carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
1 one inch piece of turmeric root, peeled and sliced into coins
1/8 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon of butternut seeds (Sunflower or pumpkin seeds may be substituted.)
Bring the mung beans and jujube date to boil in three cups of water and then simmer uncovered for 1-1/2 hours. Then add the carrots, turmeric, walnuts and simmer another 15-20 minutes. Then put in a bowl and salt to your liking and sprinkle the seeds on top.