I followed some instincts last week and am SO excited about what happened. G and my lives are living on a poem but poems are such a strong thing when I am looking for my dream design job and these inner shifts MATTER.
On a whim I pulled out my long time favorite, simple pizza crust recipe which I pile up with veggies, Fontina cheese some pepperoni and maybe tuna, a staple crust I’ve been missing since this (beloved) household is gluten free. Baking the pizza dough is SO satisfying because of the way it bubbles and rises, the slow process of letting it rise (great metaphor).
The other whim was to play with the Adobe Capture app, and see what it brings me. I don’t know, what was I expecting? For it to give me a faster final artwork? But I DO know, and that’s my point with instincts. Adobe Capture feels like a fluffy app because it kind of is. Yes, it gives me instant vector art even with quick density options, so fast that I can use it while The Love of My Life Are Walking on the Beach Together, and it isn’t any more annoying than my taking photos, time wise. The app will give me a jump start on creating vector art from scratch, but as for the art - I still have to massage the art into something unique and beautiful and original, something that a button can’t do. Or a button can do it, but there was a real designer behind those pre-fab Canva templates … Here is some playing with that vector art, as a start.
I almost let the teachings I learned from my instincts dissolve. It’s so easy to go to the next thing I need to do - endless checklists, or go faster, or complain about an unwanted thing (things!) in my life. Breaking old patterns of thought and behavior means to stop and carve out time and put it down on paper. The Knowing came to me in full 10 days ago but the writing about it and creating into it is taking longer …
So here is how it all went:
I had it on my mind for at least a year that I wanted to have this veggie-loaded homemade pizza in G and my lives. Yes, all the frozen options from Costco and TJ’s are amazing, and yes, we have the stone baking board to make cauliflower crust, but there is nothing like a real gluten pizza crust. I love the slow meditative process of making something from scratch and letting it grow, and that sense of satisfaction for myself and my relationship with G …
Outwardly it looked like just another cooking attempt … G and I worked together on the roasting of the veggies, just in olive oil, and I shaved the most of them down to thin slivers with a Mandoline. Using both whole and slivered chunks of garlic, and french-fry shaped butternut squash from TJ’s …. For the crust I worked from a GF cookbook and instead of using three parts of brown rice flour, amaranth flour and tapioca flour, I used a random mix of Red Mill GF white flour. The rest of the recipe I did to spec, and may I just say ::
It was the most amazing gluten free crust G has even eaten. Which is really saying something because he has long given up on any pizza crust replacement. I’m new to the whole concept of gluten free, in my privileged gluten eating world, and I always have the option of eating gluten. I don’t have decades of sadness of having to eat 'bread' that tastes like crackers, or a stale carb.
Making better GF food has been on my mind for almost as long as I’ve known G but here is my big point ::
This day I just decided to make this crust work. S suggested that I was "clear” but I feel strongly that in hindsight it was a decision, not clarity. "Now, is the time." What I want to attempt to explain is that what I normally do with cooking and baking (unlike G) is follow the recipe word for word. In the past, any time I try to wing something, it’s a disaster. This day I had a kind of an inner state which started off with being pissed off. It wasn’t anger but it was the energy FROM that anger. I JUST wanted to eat my old pizzas and I wanted to bring this into my life with G. I procrastinated on the dough by prepping (meditating!) all the veggies first, letting them roast while I cleaned the entire kitchen BEFORE feeling ready to start the dough.
It wasn’t a blind adventure, I know what I’m doing with baking, I trust the process. I’ve been baking for eons, I wasn’t worried about this attempt (I wasn’t over thinking it), and with this kind of Lightness, I had the ability to shrug off a potential failure, a cracker like gross GF crust, if that had happened …. and I know G would have supported me in my attempts …. :)
G LOVED the crust. I loved the crust. It was fluffy. It had a crunch. It could almost stand alone as a BREAD. It had height to it, not the flat cracker thing. And best of all, G kind of almost cried … Well not really but the idea crossed his lips … I also loved that the thing has egg whites in it to give it that height. How amazing is that.
The reason I think this is so interesting and important is that we are trained to watch for the big steps in life: marriage, baby, home ownership, career, money, retirement. But THIS kind of noticing … wow, it’s whole other ball of wax. As I follow one of my mantras to live life in Trust, in Knowing but not in from Sight, this pizza experience kind of blew me away.
You show up (buy the ingredients),
You do the work (washed and sliced and all other prep work),
You follow the advice (recipe),
You ignore the recipe (follow your own intuition),
You enjoy the process ( G had to ask me a few times if I actually was having fun, which is hilarious, because I think I get this from my mother, serious facial expressions does not mean we are not having fun. Is this German?),
You are by the nature of cooking and baking, in your grounded-body space, meditating (not over thinking),
Then you make art (you are inspired),
You delight in the small stuff (the crust has unbeaten egg whites in it! You roll the dough by pouring olive oil on your hands and mash it into a circle! Crazy!),
Then you set the timer and wait (letting go),
When it becomes something gorgeous and dreamy, only then do you realize “how you were” in terms of body-soul-mind-state … That I was not forcing, that I was not really surprised that it worked (no doubt).
I watch a lot of people setting intentions around making big things happen. And I have to say, you have to do the inner small stuff first. It’s not about being pretty or loud or popular or followed even or great aggressive marketing or badass … These are all very exterior things, exterior things that we try to CONTROL and bring into our lives. The change, I am sorry to say, is MUCH quieter than that. If you are still reading, which you probably aren’t, because you would rather just have the fast two second answer.
In some ways I feel like I’ve turned into my father with this post especially. How many sermons did I listen to and how many times would I wait for that inner shift or lift that would happen when he delivered, again, a beautiful inspirational sermon. How many times did I listen to him make jokes about people sleeping during sermons. But here we are, me learning in my life that the grid or map I’m learning of how to be, are based on tiny inner shifts like this. Being patient and quiet and listening, but instead of listening for an answer from someone else, it’s from within.
How easy it was to make this gluten free pizza crust. How happy G and I were. How he was teary. How easy it was to fall in love with G. How surprisingly fulfilling our lives are, even during the hardest of times. All dreams that are in our Hearts are going to be this effortless, this light, and this satisfying, with deeply felt tears.
So this is just a little ode to living a wispy intuitive life … I’m so grateful for the spaces G and I create for each other to just have this kind of time together, magic on a small scale, showing us the way.