Thursday, September 8, 2011
Island of Calm
It's simple, really.
Fill the pot with water, add some salt. As the water's heating, you sift ground cornmeal into the water with one hand, the other hand stirring gently.
Shhhhhhhh goes the cornmeal, round and round and round goes the spoon.
This time, I didn't grab a book. I didn't try to read the paper or check my messages.
I did listen to the girls playing in the living room, older sister making youngest laugh.
Stirring, stirring, round and round and round.
Nothing changes for a long time -- it's just cornmeal and water, a vortex on the stove.
Barely perceptibly, change sneaks up.
The pot is no longer sedimentary, cornmeal heavy on the bottom, water on the top.
All one mass, yellow as a sunflower, the polenta starting to give off lazy "plop" bubbles.
Heat goes down, I keep stirring.
Plop. Plop. Plop.
And then it's done, and the busy sneaks in again.
But dinner's nearly finished.