Today, I can make myself a cup of tea from scratch.
So I do.
I chop the ginger on my scratched wooden cutting board, and push it to the side.
My hands are always washed when I’m in the kitchen, and I washed the ginger too, but just in case, I wash everything again.
Mamasaur was a nurse for awhile and every kitchen is always Mama’s, so I follow the rules. Every kitchen is a healing place, and healing places must be kept washed.
Today, I have the energy to be a healer for myself.
In the sauce pan, I scoop in the comino. This is a black cumin that my boyfriend gifted me. I like the gift of spices. It feels comfortable, understanding. It says, I have eaten your food. I have shared a meal with you. I have talked to you. I know you carry the world with you. I know you are always searching for more world.
Today, I can think of the whole world, and the whole world beyond the world I know. So I do.
I turn the dial on the stove. There are no markers on it anymore, I live in an apartment as old as the city. We would definitely crumble at the same time, and I think I am okay with that. I love dials, when I know them. I love being able to take something and put it somewhere just right. I love my city. I love my world.
I try to imagine all their faces, and the water tries to simmer, and only one of us will succeed but both of us try.
The almost-tea starts to snap and spit, and I let it roll. I have to let it become half of itself. Patience is part of the recipe.
Today, I can wait.
Yesterday, I was holding too much. I was too full of headlines and statistics to drink tea, but today, I can.
I sift it into my mug. My mug has artwork on it. Hands. Ever reaching towards each other. There is no story that comes with the mug set, but I can tell that the hands have love for each other. I can feel it. The mugs were also a gift from my boyfriend.
I sit with my hands full of artwork and tea. Tracing the painted fingers on porcelain with my own. I think that my late husband would have loved these mugs. The blood red paint drip of them.
Today I read a thought about being grateful that our loved ones who have passed, especially those immune compromised, aren’t here right now. How they’d have to be scared.
I think of my husband, and I laugh. He would not be afraid. He would be awake, fascinated, snapping and spitting with ideas like boiling water full of ginger and comino. There are a thousand novels in the quiets of the streets, he would say. And then he would write them.
I tell him– Dave, I am trying to see the faces of every single person in the world.
And he says, lean your head back, and I will describe them to you.
I’m holding onto the mug, tracing it with my fingers. My eyes shut, and at peace, and today, today, I can do this. I can offer myself this brief respite.
In my mind, Dave asks me if I want to set the mug down before he begins. I say no. I want to touch every hand in the world right now.
He asks me what my boyfriend would say.
He’d say, Write something. Make art. You always reach them there.
Good, Dave says, smiling too.
I think to myself that one day, I will write a more internet-styled post about dating after widowhood, about filling your heart after it was shattered. One day, I will write a recipe book full of spices. One day I will finish the memoir, and the other book, and that one, too. I will tell stories about how I learned to call my loved ones to my mind when I was alone in a cell.
But today, it is all I can do to sit with the tea, and think of everyone in the world.
I try to imagine their faces, and right now, and today, my husband, almost five years dead, is in my mind, reminding me of all the people.
There is the girl you saw in the grocery last week, with a dinosaur bow and dimples, who walked like the lumberjacks you used to know.
Oh yes, I think. I had forgotten her. May she be safe.
There is the large man on the street who walks the especially-tiny dog. The one who thought you were homeless the first time he saw you. The one with the perfect skin.
I smile. Yes. May his charity be returned upon him.
There is a woman that you never met and do not know. She lives in France, in a house that people call a bungalow, but she calls it a living ship. Her hair is dark like yours, but her eyes are light, and more often than not, she is unkind.
Bless her, I think.
She rejects your blessings, and is saging her bungalow to get rid of your spirit.
I laugh, and my boyfriend calls, and I interrupt the reverie for a different type of peace and joy.
Today I can fill myself up with butterflies and blessings, so tomorrow I can float towards the world and sprinkle love everywhere.
Today I can let myself sit with love, the kind that rings in my hand, and the kind that sings in my mind, and the kinds that don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow.
So I do.