Friday, July 15, 2011

Some wounds heal better than others

I have a lot of eggplants in the garden.  The heat seems to be slowing them down right now but for a while, they were coming fast and furious.  The eggplant has a pretty flower.  I’ve really enjoyed watching it grow from a seedling to a mature producing plant.  Of course, when you have bounty in the garden, you have to be creative in your cooking or storing of the produce.

I am an excellent cook.  I don’t like to say I’m excellent at this or that because I was taught to not talk about myself.  As I’ve mentioned many times in this blog, I have a pretty low self-esteem in general.  Mentioning what I do with excellence may sound like I like to brag, if you think that, you don’t know me well.  I really do have a problem with seeing myself as doing anything really well.  However, recently, after therapy and prayer, I have realized that yes, I do some things very well.  Cooking is one of them.

I’ve made grilled eggplant, eggplant parmesan, eggplant casserole, eggplant Pakistani style, and my favorite, eggplant pizza.  Here is a picture of it:

I even asked my husband if he was getting tired of eggplant.  He said no.  He loves the stuff.  For me, it is an acquired taste.  My mother hated squash and eggplant.  My father, being Norwegian, wasn’t too keen on them either.  I never remember having them at home.  I just assumed that the hate eggplant/squash gene was passed on to me as well.  It wasn’t.  I love the stuff.

As much as we love it, there are only two of us for the abundance of eggplant.  They don’t preserve well.  The best I’ve found is to make eggplant pickles.  I have several jars in my pantry now.  Honestly, I wonder if we’ll even eat them.  We aren’t a pickle family.  Nevertheless, I didn’t throw them away right from the garden.  Hmmm, if I throw away the pickles is that just as bad?  Oh well, at least I can say I tried.  And in case you are wondering, we gave a bunch away too.

I bought a new mandolin for slicing and dicing.  I have a food processor but that doesn’t do well for slicing.  Ever trying to be perfect, I thought it would be good to slice my eggplants on the mandolin.  I would have nice uniform slices to pickle.  I sliced one eggplant, then another.  This was going good.  Occasionally I’d have to remove a stuck slice.  I was careful.  The blade of an mandolin is very sharp. 

I picked up the third eggplant.  It was long and thin.  I sliced half of it.  Carefully I removed the stuck eggplant and started with the last half.  It was the fatter side of the eggplant.  I grabbed it with my fingers.  As I sliced the first slice, I felt it.  That sting you get when you have a paper cut, the one that brings tears to your eyes.  It took a while for my brain to register that this was NOT a paper cut.  As the blood poured down my wrist I looked at my thumb.  

OMG… I grabbed a towel nearby.  I held it tight.  Direct pressure.  The blood didn't stop.  Pebbles, our Chihuahua, started to whimper.  The smell of the blood and the look on my face set off her compassion and sympathy response.

I went to the living room to sit down on the couch.  The dog jumped beside me.  The towel was soaking with blood.  I was sick to my stomach.  I started to cry.  I don’t know if it was pain, or just emotion that caused me to cry.  I was glad Pebbles was there.  She comforted me in an odd sort of way.  It was like she understood. 

That was a week ago.  The jars of pickled eggplant are in the pantry.  My thumb, which bled all day, is now mostly healed.  I can couldn’t dress myself for a few days, I can now do that.  There are still a few things I don’t want to do with that thumb for fear of pain.  It looks good though. 

As I was looking at it this morning deciding to bandage and Neosporin or not, I thought it would be really nice if all wounds were like my thumb.  It was terribly painful.  It shock me to the core even though it was a relatively small although very deep cup.  But it’s healed.  In a few more days, other than a scar that has been minimized by the diligent application of Neosporin, it will just be a memory and a story.  I’ll get the mandolin out but use the guard next time. 

Emotional wounds are not like that.  It seems they never really heal.  Words, looks, and even smells release the flood of pain once again.  They are always there; ready to be opened up again.  Oh, they get better with time.  Time does not heal all wounds. When they flood over me I'll call Pebbles by my side for physical comfort and pray to Jesus to heal my wounds.

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