Before you start reading this, you should start the video and then continue to read.
I have been trying to go the grocery store on weekends, this weekend it didn’t happen so all I had in the house were four cans of assorted beans, some brown/wild rice mix and a little bit of a kale mix that I had from the previous week along with the leftover tomatoes from the pizza I made when the kids were over. I mixed up the beans and the tomatoes and cooked them off on Sunday afternoon along with some rice and have been eating pretty much that for the last couple of days.
Monday I climbed for around two hours and then again on Tuesday after running 5 miles in the heat of the day so I decided I should probably pick up a couple more things at the grocery store. Today I got ahold of the kids on the drive home from work and swung by the store to pick up some more fresh veggies to make some of my favorites. Cabbage and cilantro with lime and salt, roasted sweet potatoes and zucchini and a bunch of kale, food enough to last through the rest of the week. I was shredding up the cabbage and it made me remember some things from the past that hadn’t really landed.
When I first started dating my ex, even after we were first married (pretty close on the heels of dating), we used to go to this Mexican place in Tyler on the square called Don Juans. I’d never been there, I didn’t grow up in Texas and while I liked most Mexican food, this was the first place I’d been to with more authentic style food. I was vegetarian and she was vegan (for about another month or two) and we would go in and get tacos made with cabbage and cilantro, cheese and avocado. I don’t remember what else was in them but I do remember the cabbage and cilantro slaw, I’ve made some version of it ever since. So here I am shredding a head of cabbage and remembering those early days of our relationship.
The rest of the veg is in the oven and I’m playing though some old songs that I’ve used as therapy for longer than I’d like to admit. I was singing through this Damien Jurado song called “I Am Still Here" and was surprised to get a little choked up when I was singing the line “here is a photo from our wedding day.” Not because I shouldn’t have any feelings about that, I have the picture in my mind. Black and white, I had long hair and glasses, looked like a John Lennon knock off and she had micro-bangs and a white dress. We got married at her parents house that had just been built, my grandfather performed the ceremony in the living room.
I know there was a point when I first heard this song many years ago where I had the perspective of the character in the song, I felt emotionally abandoned and tried over and over to find a way to rectify the void that had grown between us. It wasn’t something that anyone did, it was just there and eventually I stopped trying to fix the void and pretended that it wasn’t there and wasn’t important and didn’t have anything to do with how I felt, it was the way it was.
My dad would always talk about how my grandfather “tied a good knot” and for a few years, that was my motivation to make things work. It kept being something that I held onto when things got rough through any number of things. I still think about that phrase, “a good knot,” and it really makes me think about how my perspective on the world has changed since then. I had recently left the church for good but I was still trying to live in a way that fit a morality and worldview that I was breaking away from, I think I am still trying to reprogram my mind away from some of those thought patterns and behaviors. Those knots are deep and will take time to untie.