In a Nutshell

I have been blessed to have several caring souls nominate me for various awards or keep me on their Blogrolls over the past year I’ve been part of this fabulous WordPress community. Have a Dream. morristownmemos. Partial View. All Write. So Far From Heaven. Vikram Roy. If I have forgotten you, please forgive me. I want to take the opportunity to offer thanks once again for that recognition and validation, and also to explain my lack of traditional response. Typically I offer posts to address some of the questions these awards ask a writer to share, as answering pat questions somehow doesn’t mesh with my brain chemistry. I’ve never been much for following diagrams or rules for their own sake. I leave that to my husband, a stalwart individual who can read a manual about anything and sort it out. (He once rebuilt a truck transmission this very way, having never had a mechanic’s training.) Thus while I greatly respect and appreciate these qualities in others – for better or for worse, I seem to march to a different drummer.

I’m always searching under rocks and behind walls to discover what lies beyond proscribed reality. Where my husband is solid, patient, enduring – I’m rather like thunder – lightning – fleet. I haven’t the patience the gods gave a flower to open. I am aware, however, that patience is a virtue worth cultivating. Almost everything that has been worth anything to me in this life has demanded I wait for it. Born in June and astrologically ruled by the god Mercury, I have come by my winged feet honestly. Geminis think – all the time: on our feet, on our heads, and no doubt to the utter consternation of many a partner, on our backs. And while I can slow this mind down and even capture the interstices between thoughts in contemplation, I’ve come to appreciate how easily inspiration strikes home. It then becomes about sorting through and sifting out – getting onto the page what first gathers as an amorphous mental jumble. For folks like me, it’s not about forcing or schedules. Instead what seems to work well is attuning to the subtle signs and cues while getting it written down. Harness the thought before it flies on through, over and out. Craft it later.

image: Dexter Bellows - sunset, Mauna Kea beach

As for favorite colors, flowers or times of day, it is now and has always been nature’s ever-changing palette that enthralls. Again in that open-minded, open-ended, spontaneous way, a sunrise will awaken me from slumber to beguile with periwinkle, heliotrope, violet, purple-pink hues. A sunset will blend gold with a fiery melon, rose, cerise and finally indigo. How any of these colors could curry favor over another in my consciousness, I do not know. The magnificent nectar of magnolia blossoms, paklan, stemmadenia – all unremarkably white – any of which sends me straight to heaven.

Mention food or drink and I cannot begin to sort out the delight of the pure and simple: freshly picked and juiced carrot, beet, daikon, ginger. Squeezed Kona orange juice, often blended with that of giant tangelos. Press guava or lilikoi (passionfruit) or Calmonsi lime into half a strawberry papaya and I cannot imagine a soda or cocktail that approaches that kind of glory to the tastebuds. And don’t get me started on the virtues of organic unsulphured California Blenheim apricots. I am also a fair ethnic cook – I love Indian food and preparing it, from cashew or saag chicken to samosas and fried pineapple. A great coconut rice pudding. I love to bake, and making pies is about as easy as walking, for me. Fresh peach pie, tarte au fruite, blueberry, apple, lemon meringue. Throw in a Boston Crème Pie, though that’s not really fair, as it’s a cake with a thick custard in the middle, topped with melted dark Valrona chocolate. And so I might as well toss yeasted breads into the mix, sweet and plain – while longing to try sourdough.

image: Fleur Weymouth - my pulla (Finnish coffee bread)

I love creatures of all kinds, especially dogs and horses, with whom I share a gentle understanding. I love our neighbor Boolcow – his hard shiny nose and the way he sniffs and licks our hands in greeting with his long pointy tongue. And although I think of myself as too serious at times, I delight in small children who, even upon first take, seem to recognize the impish child that lies within me and respond to it favorably – giving me license to cut free a bit and be silly.

noble Boolcow

And finally, I am happiest among those I love who enjoy the things I’ve mentioned, and more. Sunsets. A long hike or a swim in the ocean. A bracing bike ride. A great meal. Quiet company. Gut laughter. Deep conversation. A good film. Touch. The warmth and honesty and undeniable goodness and heart-rendering satisfaction of proximity, one to another. Our time together is always too short. Then again, too much stimulation and I crave time alone. Paradox. Gemini. Me, in a nutshell.

16 thoughts on “In a Nutshell

  1. Bela,

    What a lovely ” self discovey” post. It’s almost like you are crooning softly to your own self, ” These are a few of my favourite things…”, oblivious of the reader. Or is this my perception?

    You have also rough painted your picture of happiness. Full of trust for your own self and the environment around you. You have also shown self respect through vaidation of what you stand for.

    Reading the post led me into my own calm inner space, oft forgotten in the rush of my day to day life. Thank you, I need to acknowledge you for that. You have also inspired me to right about ” Happiness” as I put pen to paper.

    Cheers and God bless.


    1. Excellent, Shakti – I’m so happy this led to your own sense of inner calm and that you feel inspired to write about happiness! Take good care, and thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  2. Congratulations Bela and my warmest wishes to you on this occasion. Nice post and as usual laid with so many beautiful expressions of happiness, peace and happiness. May you have another great day celebrating and God Bless.

      1. Please do not mention this. You are truly worthy and you are truly excellent. “A class above.” if I may say. Meanwhile, you have a pleasant time, enjoy doing what you love to do best and stay great Bela. !!!

      2. Well, I did mention it and I’m glad I did! You are always so generous with praise and are so graceful with your acclaim. Thanks so much for being part of this WP community with me!

    1. Yes, the drinks ARE exquisite! Thanks for your kind words, Amy. I appreciate them. And yes, I feel blessed to have a husband who compliments me so well, lo these 20 years. One never knows whether that combination of hard work and luck will work out. I’m glad it did, in this case.

  3. Once again a great post Bela. Beautifully expressed. 🙂 As I have always said that you keep inspiring and encouraging in your own ways spreading happiness through your writing!! Keep it up… 🙂 🙂


  4. I can relate to your love of cooking and baking. I too love ethnic foods. I’m inspired to look up the recipes for coconut rice pudding and fried pineapple. Lately I’ve been making a lot of “California Rolls” (vegetable maki sushi). If you complied your favorite recipes in a cookbook, I would love a copy. I remember how you modified the Moosewood Hungarian Mushroom Soup recipe and made it even better. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Mmmmmm … California rolls … that was Amanda’s specialty when she lived with us 😉

      I have thought off and on about publishing, even self publishing, that cookbook. It’s all in a word doc, and I’ve continually refined it over the years. Thank the gods somebody made me write some of those recipes down (and my modifications of them), because I was so in the flow of things, I never would have done so myself. I’ll keep you posted if I release the book onto the world! Appreciate, as always, your comments.

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