Hate leaves ugly scars, love leaves beautiful ones.   ~Mignon McLaughlin

that was me.  in the summer.  open book.  mussed up and smiling. today i am in the neighborhood, in the kitchen, in my sunday mode.  mellow.  

after an early lunch of split pea soup and prosciutto parmesan sandwich at the cafe while i mulled over the loss of a friend and wrote entry number two of the day, i walked across the street to my local nursery.  back after their winter break, i was greeted by the big black dog i adore, then enjoyed a nice conversation with the owner – she’s one of those ladies with the beautiful quiet energy, who it takes a lot to get to laugh out loud but is worth it when you do.  she and i spoke of business and of springtime and of renting out rooms in our houses to make the business happen, as her pup leaned against me hard and the chickens emerged, wondering what all the fuss was about.    i woke home, quiet but breathing a little better.  i thought of my tenant and how i have had to ask him to leave after quite the disrespect of my house through his slovenly habits, and how his depression is driving his attitudes and behaviors.  i remember when my exhusband went through that and it started out with the slowly but surely decline of personal habits.  and for a brief moment, i thought, maybe i should talk to tenant and see if he’d be willing to make some changes … and then remembered that i did a month ago, only to be ignored.   so i made some lasagna – herb pasta sheets from the local italian store, with chopped sweet and salty sundried tomatoes from my friend who owns the artisan food house around the corner, and dried basil from last summer mixed into the ricotta.  with layers of my homegrown tomato sauce, topped with a bit of marinated bell peppers and feta, an easy lunch for a few days.   and i put on one of the cd’s that the bloke made me.  jack johnson and norah jones for an afternoon in the kitchen, as i started to make rye bread.  i don’t know if there’s anything more peaceful than working with your hands in the kitchen or garden.  mixing the rye flour with the yeast and caraway and butter and molasses and buttermilk and salt, kneading and putting some oomph into it til your hands want to fall off and this big beautiful ball of dough is in front of you.  wrapping it in a towel and putting it in bed next to the heat register to double in size (while it’s a great feature to have proofing in my gas range, i hate the idea of using additional energy…and besides, this is how my mom did it and it worked fine).  pulling it out and giving it a good punch and giggling like i did as a girl.  a few more kneads, splitting into two balls, covering with a bit more hazelnut oil and putting it back for more rising.  it sits and rises while i listen to norah croon elvis presley’s ‘love me’ and run across the quote above.   all day long i thought about forgiveness throughout the pain that is veined across my heart.  all day long i thought about how to be a better person, how to fix things that couldn’t be fixed. all day long i thought about love’s impact on my life, and the scars i have to show for it. he thinks i hate him.  i could never hate him.  i can be deeply hurt, disappointed, frustrated.  but i don’t hate him.  i hate what he did and the cowardly way he acted.  and i know it will ultimately hurt more on his end because i gave fully and he withdrew.  i love wholly, richly, and deeply, and while the world has showed me that i need to look in a new direction, and he doesn’t want me anymore, i know as i watch my dog sleep and the guitar plays softly in the background, that i am better for the experience. i am better for having loved. even when i wasn’t loved in return.


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