“In these moments where an abyss opens up in my soul, the tiniest detail distresses me like a letter of farewell. I feel as if I’m always on the verge on waking up. I’m oppressed by the very self that encases me, asphyxiated by conclusions, and I’d gladly scream if my voice could reach somewhere. But there’s this heavy slumber that moves from one group of my sensations to another, like drifting clouds that make the half-shaded grass of sprawling fields turn various colours of the sun and green.” – Fernando Pessoa, an excerpt from the Book of Disquiet
“I swam under water as if I really did not want to return to the surface, as if I wanted to stay below with the fish.” – Anaïs Nin, Summer 1942
I have days of escapism and nights of no-return. These past few weeks saw the return to forgotten surroundings. And the arrival of lost memories. A refuge to the sea. A sea so engrained within my flesh and blood, that if I was to slit my throat and bleed, I would slowly stream salt, sand and the shrill swan song of swallow. It’s never easy to come home to the thing you grew from. And the more you try to clutch and fight, the more it’s carnal desire eats. I feel as if I possess inside me the ebb and flow of the ocean. And at any given moment, the tide will swell to the point of drowning.
“Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.” – David Foster Wallace, an excerpt from Infinite Jest.
I bake cookies often. Not for any particular reason, other than I find them the most efficient thing to satisfy in times of sweet craving. There’s an entire section dedicated to cookies in the left of my freezer, with at least one hundred dough balls stashed. They sit tightly contained next to discs of pie dough and left-over streusel, from the times I made too much. All labeled and categorised according to date and type. There’s bags of classic chocolate chip and bags of my favourite spelt dark chocolate chunk kind. There’s bags of brown butter and milk chocolate too. And then there’s a bag filled with the miscellaneous type. A few cookies made with sour cherries and hazelnut, a few cookies made with peanut butter chips. And the odd, stray, m&m. The miscellaneous bag is known to be either hit or miss. And yet, I still keep them. For my taste preferences shift on whim and change as fast as the strength of season. A Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie though, will forever be a favourite.
“I’m scared you will realize I’m just bones and questions and leave me for something solid.” – Clementine von Radics
It’s been a while since I last posted a cake recipe on the blog. At the beginning of the year, I committed to sharing a new cake, each month. Though, as is the usual manner of things, my attention was stolen and held captive to something, someone, else. Side-tracked is an understatement, but, I like to think that I made up for it by sharing other sweet things that have been in frequent rotation. Cookies for one, as my instagram will attest.
“Paris at night. I step out of the restaurant into darkness. It is a sensual experience. I recognise no one. I stumble. I hear the voice of a man I am sure I could have loved, but he vanishes. Mysterious blue and green lights here and there.” – Anaïs Nin, September 1939
In some way or another, I always find myself back in Paris. All sunsets belong to her. All heat. All rain. All shadow. And memories too. My memories belong to Paris. She was unpredictable at best. Romantic, ethereal, but, nonetheless, unpredictable. Paris was sweltering heat and sporadic rain. Daylight that continued into midnight. Midnight that never lasted as long as the day. And once it was dark, it was dark. Much like this desire. The city at night, a maze of shadow, guided by the sole illumination of strewn light, winding tunnels or vagrant passages. I’m forever at her mercy.
I realise that this post has been waiting longer than anticipated. But then Paris happened, so, my schedule went completely out the window. Life is consuming. Time, even more so. I still can’t believe that it’s only four months to the end of the year. For the most part, I’ve been laid bare beneath the darkness of dreams and doubt. Fulfilled in the illusion of impassioned loves and hates. Love and hate felt as equally in intensity. Never grey matter. Only the darkness of black in throes and the purity of white in vanquish. Sometimes, off-white. Though, that comes few and far between. The flit of rage in the air, happiness beneath the wall. The sun, existing to pounce the shadows. The shadows, existing to consume the sun. To say it, is to mean it. I do.