I found a recipe for only six blueberry muffins. Perfect for a week of breakfasts.
I’ve been thinking about everything. It even feels like that, almost physically, sometimes—I cannot compartmentalize. I am thinking about everything, all at once, and sometimes it spins and spins and feels like I am thinking about nothing. Like hearing two songs played at the same time—you can’t hear the words to either of them.
I have this gorgeous, cranberry-red ceramic muffin pan that my mom gave to me. This is the first time I’ve used it.
In the past six years, I’ve driven away from my home so many times. For four years, I went in one direction—past the mailbox—to Indiana. For the past two, I’ve gone the opposite way—to Tennessee. I remember one of the first times I went the other way; even then, it felt like a profound change. Leaving one place for another. One life for another.
To start the muffins, I mixed some softened butter with some sugar and separately combined the dry ingredients. I was watching Friends on my laptop while baking—the recipe on one side of the screen, the show on the other.
I combined everything and folded in some blueberries.
Today I told my best friend one of my favorite songs was playing in Portland Brew. She responded, “What are you drinking? And what are you working on there?”
I answered in great detail, trying to figure out why it felt so lovely to describe my iced coffee with half-and-half and simple syrup, the poetry reading I was listening to with a Word document open, hoping for words, the blog post I was writing instead. I think it’s because a question like that means someone wants to know you. And there is delight in being known, in sharing the things that are you in any given moment. There is encouragement in affirmation, in knowing that the coffee I am drinking is somehow important, the books splayed open around me are these in particular, not others. It all matters.
I spooned the batter into the muffin pan. It was a perfect amount for six big muffins. I took a photo and then remembered that the recipe said to sprinkle some oats on top of the muffins. I put them in the oven for 16 minutes, which grew to around 24 minutes when they weren’t done and weren’t done still.
It mattered that I grew up in that place, with those walls around me. The people I shared that place with mattered more. I will go to them still. They will be the same. Those old walls were a gift. The new walls will be one, too, with time. Maybe I will deeply miss that home because it is the place I feel most known.
I’ve been reading Roxane Gay’s Tumblr a lot. I love how she bakes and thinks and writes it all down. I want to be that kind of writer: attentive all the time. A young woman on whom nothing is lost. Mary Leader called me that in a workshop conference years ago and I’ll never forget it.
I pulled the muffins from the oven, thought of breakfast the next morning. The coffee I would pour.
In one of her posts, Roxane wrote that she is drawn to baking because there is some wonder in watching parts come together to make a whole. There is transformation there. There is the reminder that transformation can happen. And does happen, even right there, in our lives.