Alchemy & Ratatouille

story seamstress
story seamstress

 Whenever I want to re~set, re~create myself,

I often take to the kitchen.

I am also a gardener, along with my beloved Green Man.

We call our place “The Shire”.

the shire

An Hobbit homage to big bare feet, pipe weed, and enjoying the simple life.



(the pipe weed is a reference to tobacco)

(my Green Man enjoys a cigar now and then)

We have a wild and wooly acre +.

With pear, apple, peach, almond, and walnut trees.

Ornamental trees too:  box elder, incense cedars, pines, junipers, horse chestnut, oaks, sycamore, and vintage lilacs.

And the vegetable garden, now scaled back for two.

Flaming red and green grapes.

Peas.  Basil.

Ambrosia and Watermelons.

A smattering of leafy greens.

Sunflowers for beauty.

( but mostly to feed the birds)

You get the picture?

Tomatoes, always tomatoes:  Brandywines.


Perennial herbs of dill, sage, oregano, tarragon, thyme, chives.

Peppers, squashes (winter and summer), and eggplant.


 Have you ever seen an eggplant blossom?

The plant and blossom alone are reason enough to grow it.

Now, back to the kitchen.

The first of summer’s garden bounty inspired a ratatouille.

I simply could not resist the glossy solid beauty of the Aubergine.


(I just like using the word Aubergine!)

First thing this morning I was in the kitchen.

With my vegetables.

(very Zen)

Asked the Green Man to fetch the squash and the herb bouquet.

Chop.  Chop.


The swirl of good olive oil and the onion sauté filled the house with such a perfume.

Add the peppers, garlic (lots), zucchini, eggplant, oregano, basil, bay leaf, and tomatoes.

Our home was transformed into a Mediterranean kitchen.

The vegetables were singing!

This, for me, is the creative process.

I begin with one element.

This one element leads to another, and before you know it, I am creating something!

(kind of like this blog)

Now, who will help me do the dishes?

Vox Anima, SDM


All other art credit is in the public domain

Such Stuff That Dreams Are Made On


Reaching the threshold of seven decades is daunting.

I had imagined this post to be full of self deprecating humor about crumbling teeth,

sinus pain, and VANITY ~~ there’s still time for that.


Caught in Goya’s Saturn grip, a dismembering is taking place.

A breaking down has to occur.

the-mask-of-the-red-death-odilon redon1883

The alchemy of returning to my own prima materia–

the raw stuff of which I am made.


These are natural laws we are all subject to, and aging is one of them.

Beyond cliches about wisdom and other self soothing aphorisms, is the truth of mortality.

And the paradox of death and rebirth.


From this suspended place in time, I find myself viewing my fellow travelers and humanity from a soft lens.

How precious and vulnerable we are!

odilon_redon_004“Our revels now are ended.

These our actors, as I foretold you were all thin spirits, and are melted into air, thin air:

And like the baseless fabric of this vision,

The cloud capp’d towr’s , the gorgeous palaces,

The solemn temple, the great globe itself,

Yea, all which inherit, shall dissolve,

And like this insubstantial pageant faded,

Leave not a rack behind.

We are such stuff that dreams are made on;

And our little life is rounded with a sleep.”

Prospero, The Tempest, William Shakespeare, Act IV, Scene 1

cropped-odilon-redon-xx-adam-and-eve-xx-villa-floraAll art credit goes to Odilon Redon.