Dangerous Compassions

roasting chiles at home

Hello, reader.  How are you?  Looks like I never posted about recently roasting chiles at home.  Here in Oregon we can roast chiles like champs.  It’s not just for California and Nevada, I have learned!


At our request, our housemate made a fire in the backyard.  They’d had a long day at work.  I was grateful they built the fire.

roasting chiles at home

It was fun to watch them chop wood.  I’d been wanting to learn how.  As I watched this skilled, energetic person, I realized maybe I am not suited for that work.  Housemate is nimble as a mountain goat, graceful as an otter, and more beautiful than God.  They are a genius of the body.

I am not kinesthetically skilled.  My proprioception is toast.  Clumsy plus ax is not the best combination.  Maybe I’m going to let that dream go.

I wanted to learn how to chop wood because it seems like a basic survival thing.  This land we live in has winters that involve snow, and there are lots of trees around.  On craigslist I saw some free-for-the-chopping firewood.  Immediately I thought Ming and I could chop firewood to bring to the people.  But we don’t have a pickup truck anyway.


I’d found some long tongs as roasting tools in the south kitchen.  Grateful to have something to hold the chiles with.

roasting chiles

It was a sacred thing.  That fire, and that activity that matters so much to me, healing, long term.  Roasting chiles at home connects me to my mom and ancestors.  It makes me feel strong with the sensory pleasure and the meaning.

“If I ever drift too far away, this smell will bring me back,” I said.  And I told our dear housemate that roasting chiles was my favorite smell besides Ming’s body.  Yes, so beautiful.  Our housemate understood the significance.


Afterward I brought the roasted chiles indoors, took out the seeds, and chopped them up.  They were a topping for the house dinner that Ming and I made.  I don’t remember the meal anymore.

Weeks later we had community dinner and a fire then too.


By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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