The Weight

Talking about religion is tedious and boring. Religious experience is like a vivid dream. To you, if you have it, it can shake you to the core. Hearing about someone else’s religious experiences? As dull as hearing about someone’s dreams.

Also, maybe this isn’t that weird. Maybe I did know about this before and just don’t remember that I knew.

All that being said, I’m going to say something about religion.

Every October, I take nine evenings and set aside some time to hang out with my ancestors and see what kinds of visions my subconscious might dredge up.

This October, I had a vision that I was in a room with a loom, but the loom was set up very strangely. It hanged down and, as the weaver worked it, she moved the done cloth up at the top. She unrolled more thread to work on somehow from these big stone or clay weights that hanged down beneath the work.

I couldn’t make sense of it, exactly, how the weights worked, how the loom itself could possibly make sense. I drew a picture of it and it still made no sense to me, so I put it out of my mind, figured it was symbolic, allegorical.

Until today.

Those are the weights, set up exactly how I saw. That’s the loom, but it makes sense, because it’s not relying on someone who doesn’t understand what she’s seeing to make sense of it.

This is a style of weaving I don’t think I knew existed before October. I don’t remember knowing it anyway. If I did know it, how did I not know it in a way that made more sense to me?

But I saw it.

And today, I saw it.

I’m shaken. I’m not sure what it means, if anything. But I’m shaken.

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I Will Make this Gumbo for My Parents

My whole goal for Christmas week is to get my presents wrapped and to make this new gumbo for my parents. It’s pretty much like regular gumbo except that you don’t do a roux and, instead, use potatoes as a thickener and substitute for rice.

Well, my god, I figured, once you’ve done away with the most nerve-wracking part of gumbo…once you’ve exposed yourself as willing to call something without that roux gumbo… why limit yourself to potatoes?

I swapped in sweet potatoes, which, dear readers were FANTASTIC. Especially if you can’t do shrimp for whatever reason, the sweet potatoes add that delicious sweetness that balances all the spiciness.

Also, rather than dicing the chicken, this recipe just has you lay the chicken over top, simmer the whole thing for an hour, and then fish out the chicken and shred it. It’s so much easier to shred cooked chicken than to cut raw chicken that I about jumped for joy.

My only trick will be making the gumbo bland enough for my Midwestern parents.