Sunday Morning ~ The Arrow We Look At
Mubvi woyang’anira ulowa m’cikope. ~ The arrow you only look at, hits your eye.
~ Chewa proverb
October 18, 2020
Last evening I opened a bottle of kombucha and it exploded. I don’t mean bubbled over, I mean, exploded. I had just finished baking bread and cleaning the kitchen. I was about to have a nice soak in the hot tub and thought a glass of kombucha would go well with that. The rain had stopped and the temperature was dropping. I took a bottle of my homemade brew off the pantry shelf and put it on the counter. I took a glass off the rack and flipped the metal thingy that holds the cork in place. I was prepared for a little pop, even a little spillover. I’d made a mess before with kombucha and, worried about wasting the precious contents, have put my mouth over the top to catch the foamy volcano. Thank God I did not do that last evening. I would be dead. I am always a bit cautious when I open a new bottle, but was not prepared for what happened with the lemon/lemongrass concoction. The top blew, and I mean BLEW, off. The contents of the bottle shot to the ceiling in one steady stream like a rocket. I watched the drippy mess cover my pots and pans hanging on the rack and stood in the sticky puddle on the floor. It was so shocking I could do nothing but say, “Oh my God!” over and over. I was on the phone with my friend had to switch to FaceTime just to show her what happened. She said, “You’re lucky it didn’t hit your eye.” The realization sunk in that if I had had my head over that bottle it would have blown my face off. I had that shudder you get when the near miss sinks in. Oh my God, what could have happened. I spent a fair amount of time imagining how I may have opened that bottle with my face over it. Or how it may have hit someone else (assuming there will be a post-pandemic time when someone else may be in the house). Shudder.
I did a quick clean up of the mess dripping off the ceiling. I took all the pots off the hanging rack and put them to soak. I wiped up the floor. I did all this immediately after the explosion. I wanted to contain the mess as quickly as possible. Then I sat in the hot tub and enjoyed the night sky. The clouds had cleared away and leaves had fallen, and I had an amazing view. My face was still attached to my head. Today I will start really cleaning as the initial wipe down was no where near adequate. I can imagine the fruit flies and ants organizing right now. No, today I will get the ladder out and really scrub. Then I will evaluate which of my kitchen tools really need to be there. I’ll clean them off and relegate them to the retired pile, thanking them for their service as I do. This will leave more space for what is useful to me right now. I know this second round of cleaning will also not be enough. I’ll have to wash the floor a third time, that’s how far the destruction spread. It’s ok. I’m under no illusion that cleaning up after a disaster, or even a mishap will be easy. But if I want it to be functional and useful for me, I’ll be happy to put the energy into it. I’ll breathe easier when it is finished and be extra careful when I open the next bottle.
This is how I want to feel on November 4th. I want the explosion to be a signal that the fermentation worked and worked well. We will have a mess to clean up but no sense wasting energy wailing about that. Just get to it and stop sticking to the floor. We’ll make things cleaner and brighter. And we need to be realistic that it will take more than one swipe. This will be a long-haul clean up job. But unlike my kitchen, I won’t be working alone.
I mailed my letters to voters yesterday at the designated time. I don’t know how the date was calculated but I trust that someone knew what they were doing. I enjoyed writing a note to each person whose name conjured up an image for me of who they might be. I wondered what their circumstances were. I kept to the task and only wrote two or three sentences, but I thought about becoming pen pals with each one of them. I wanted to know their story, where they worked, how old they were, if they had kids. I wanted to share my story and see what kind of connection we might have. I know lots of people who wrote letters and imagine what a great web of interconnectedness we were making. Kudos to the ones who organized all this. May it save the post office and our country. May it lay some groundwork for the clean up job ahead.
Love to all,