My blog has been sort of quiet these days. Our laptop is in the shop so, unfortunately, any photos I have to share will have to wait.
Like the one of the delicious summer pasta salad I made for dinner tonight. It was the perfect escape into the warm summer months. I could almost convince myself I was at a friend's backyard barbecue with Bob Marley turned up, varieties of beer filling up the coolers, and that sweet lighter-fluid-on-charcoal smell that only summer can play host to.
Here's the recipe I made up:
Southwest Summer Pasta Salad
4 cups cooked penne pasta (I used whole wheat)
half a green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup sliced black olives
1 can cooked chicken in broth, drained
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup frozen sweet corn
half a can of black beans, drained
Combine the ingredients in a large bowl.
1/2 cup bottled salsa (I used Trader Joe's Double Roasted)
A couple of glugs of red wine vinegar
A couple of glugs of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
dash of red pepper
Mix these ingredients in a small bowl to create a dressing. Toss with the salad and add salt and pepper to taste.
I wish I could show you the photo of how pretty it was with all those colors mixed in the bowl. It was really delicious.
After my dinner, I had some rare time alone, and with no computer in sight, I grabbed my Rumi book off the shelf and randomly flipped to this poem:
My Worst Habit
My worst habit is I get so tired of winter
I become a torture to those I'm with.
If you're not here, nothing grows.
I lack clarity. My words
tangle and knot up.
How to cure bad water? Send it back to the river.
How to cure bad habits? Send me back to you.
When water gets caught in habitual whirlpools,
dig a way out through the bottom
to the ocean. There is a secret medicine
given only to those who hurt so hard
they can't hope.
The hopers would feel slighted if they knew.
Look as long as you can at the friend you love,
no matter whether that friend is moving away from you
or coming back toward you.
Don't let your throat tighten
with fear. Take sips of breath
all day and night, before death
closes your mouth.
I had forgotten how much I enjoy this book of simple spiritual poetry, and how sometimes opening a book at random can send just the right message to help wake me out of a zombie-like state.