Dangerous Compassions

how making enchiladas is like swimming, damage done by PE teachers in the 1980s, Ming says yes

Yesterday was Ming’s first time taking a sabbath with me.  It was great.  In the morning, we cooked three trays of enchiladas–two red, one green.  It involved many steps.  We made rice also.

As I got more and more exhausted, I realized that making enchiladas was like swimming, for me.  When I was a kid, I could swim for hours straight.  I could swim all day.  In the summers, we went to Avila Beach or Paul Nelson Pool.

Then when I was a young adult, I went into a pool after not swimming after a long time.  Ten minutes of swimming, and I was exhausted, which amazed me.  I thought swimming was easy.  I guess I was in better shape as a kid than I thought I was.

Then I was thinking about all that–how I was told I was fat by PE teachers and shamed for it, when I think I was actually fine.  I could swim all day–I was probably in better shape than they were!

I kinda wish I could go back in time and tell those people to shut the heck up.  They harmed me in a way that went on for years afterward–it continues to this day.  I thought things about myself that were totally untrue–I was healthy, anxious but rarely sick.  All because of their scales, height-weight charts, and some ridiculous willingness to scare a slightly fat kid.

Anyway–back to enchiladas.  I knew there were a few steps and it took a little while.  But I didn’t remember it being totally freakin’ exhausting. 

I can’t tell if my interlude about fatness distracted you, reader, from the paralel I was drawing between swimming and making enchiladas.  Thought they were easy–I was wrong.

But the lovely thing is having all these enchiladas!  My favorite food, homestyle.  We froze a tray–we froze a little of the rice too. 

They were partly free because the tortillas were left from an event, the cheese we already had, the sauces and olives we’d accumulated.  Thought about putting some mushrooms in there, but why mess with perfection.

This morning Ming broke a pair of scissors cutting open quail eggs, the last of the raw quail eggs.  He just realized he has a decibel-meter on his phone, an exciting fact for him.  “I didn’t realize you were a volume geek also,” I said.  “Whoa!”

Today I carried a lot of stuff.  We did the Catholic Worker big shop early, then picked up some donations from a Catholic church in Henderson.  So much loading, unloading, unlocking and relocking doors, arranging things to take up the least amount of space, wondering if stuff was going to get crushed by other stuff, sliding things over to make room for other things.

This morning I read that Aries is the sign most open to new ideas–that’s Ming’s sign.  I don’t know if I believe any of that, but it really appeals to me that as a writer and thinker, I’m good at generating ideas, so no wonder Ming likes me, if he’s loving new ideas.

I see him at the store, looking at new inventions.  He does seem very open, happy to find a new thing that could help him with an old difficulty.  I always think, “That new thing–it’ll never work.  It’ll probably just break.”  But I love about him his positivity and willingness to try.  He’s definitely a yea-sayer.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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