Tuesday, July 10, 2012
In the Back of the Fridge
What if the mind were like the fridge? Lots of stuff that's lost its label, and got shoved to the back shelf. One day, time for a clean-out. Scary. Leftovers from that party. Was it THIS year or last? This jar smells good but what is it? How could that grey/green mold have grown so thick without being spotted - and what are those little beads on top. Will the mold spores still lurk if I really clean the fridge? If I want to take this process to heart existentially, is it enough to go through the pile of unfiled papers on my desk? Or experience and memory too? Therapy? Writing? Among the old jars, this time in the freezer, a mug with what looks like a Guinness crown of frozen foam on top. I am about to toss it when something stays my arm. Could this be .... an ancient sourdough starter. I leave it on the counter and forget it for days. The following week I press the crust gingerly and it rocks like a floating iceflow. Underneath bubbles of activity. I bring it to my nose: its the soughdough starter, brought over from Germany over 100 years ago, and mailed to me by a friend in New York 10 months ago. I have two wonderful new wwoofers, Liz and Lauren, recently released from Cornell and Bennington respectively. This morning, 15 hours later, we are wolfing on the best sourdough bread I can remember. Thanks Lauren (and Liz). We must learn how to feed the starter. Already, I am sure, new wild yeasts are knocking on the door, wondering if they can join the old band.