Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kitchen as metaphor for life

I Chop Some Parsley While Listening To Art Blakey's Version Of "Three Blind Mice"
~  Billy Collins
And I start wondering how they came to be blind.
If it was congenital, they could be brothers and sister,
and I think of the poor mother
brooding over her sightless young triplets.
Or was it a common accident, all three caught
in a searing explosion, a firework perhaps?
If not,
if each came to his or her blindness separately,
how did they ever manage to find one another?
Would it not be difficult for a blind mouse
to locate even one fellow mouse with vision
let alone two other blind ones?

And how, in their tiny darkness,
could they possibly have run after a farmer's wife
or anyone else's wife for that matter?
Not to mention why.
Just so she could cut off their tails
with a carving knife, is the cynic's answer,
but the thought of them without eyes
and now without tails to trail through the moist grass
or slip around the corner of a baseboard
has the cynic who always lounges within me
up off his couch and at the window
trying to hide the rising softness that he feels.

By now I am on to dicing an onion
which might account for the wet stinging
in my own eyes, though Freddie Hubbard's
mournful trumpet on "Blue Moon,"
which happens to be the next cut,
cannot be said to be making matters any better.

Painting: Australian contemporary artist Julie Byrnes

Not that I'm doing any cooking lately since work has spun out of control.  The Strong Silent One has been master-minding in the kitchen with his three chef assistants.  The menu has recently featured prawn risotto and Moroccan lamb.  I am indebted to Junior Masterchef for cultivating an interest in food preparation among my children and a willingness to sample new flavours.  Meantime I'm running around like a blind mouse.


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