No, seriously (mostly, anyway). When I feel absurd self pity and irrational anger (like, say, yesterday), I should clue in and realize that it’s my body talking, not me. I often don't, but as I've mentioned before, I can be a slow learner.
One of my favorite moments in a book is in Kipling’s Kim. Kim has schlepped his elderly lama all over the back of beyond, up and down the Himalayas. The poor kid is cooked. He simply cannot go any further. And because he can’t go further, he feels he’s failed his lama, and he begs for forgiveness. The old man gently tells Kim he's been working too hard, that it’s Kim's body, not his heart, that is speaking, that Kim has not failed anybody, and that rest will allow Kim’s body and mind to recover. This is an extremely rough précis, since I can’t find my copy of Kim, but, I like it for a number of reasons- the touching devotion between the old man and the youth, and the gentle tolerance and acknowledgement that the lama has for the ways our bodies can affect our minds, and the kind way that he gives Kim a chance to forgive himself. I thought of the scene this morning, when, after too many days of tenacious pessimism, I woke up content and happy. I realized that my antibiotics have finally gained enough traction that even if my body still has a ways to go on overall recovery, my optimism has returned.
However, optimism or no, the weather still sucks. It sounds funny to say, since this evening, we had glorious, huge spills of sunshine (we're back to rain being spattered against the windows now). The wind also blew several trees down, one blocking the major road into my neighborhood, and it’s whooshing about, but beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to sunshine, and I’m still glad to have a bit. I’m sure then when we get too much, and it gets hotter than I’d like, I’ll fuss. It seems I may be the Goldilocks of weather.
But I am not the Goldilocks of artichokes. I like artichokes most ways. My favorite way to cook them at home is to braise them and eat them whole (recipe following). It requires quite a bit of trimming, but the tender, delicious result is well worth it. I’ve been eyeing the recipe Mark Bittman recently published in the New York Times, and I like sautéed with garlic and Serrano ham, deglazing the pan with a little sherry. In a minute, I'll start in on how I like them in a box, and with a fox… well, it’s artichoke season. May as well enjoy.