A handful of roasted almonds. Heavy stainless steel blade to cut the hardened flesh. Palm against the tip of the blade. Gentle pressure on the handle. Steady… steady… ’til it meets the wood block on the other side. Satisfaction. I can’t get no. No, not in the day-in and day-out. But, here, bent over the cutting board, control over the blade, I create exactly what I want and need.
I have some gadget that chops the life out of nuts. I have a food processor that can turn them into dust. I’ve used the food processor once since I got it–just to make sure it worked. I prefer to do it by hand. It calms me to take my time, to feel the meat resist and then give way to the chiseled edge. When it’s done, the very blade that chopped the few into many is used to gather them up. I glide the knife on its side across the board, collect the nut scraps in its path and use my hand as a wall to stop it. Together, I lift hand and blade and toss the nuts into the bowl. I wipe the blade, wipe the board, and I am done. Simple. Clean. This feels good.
Writing like this satisfies me. It focuses me. It is my meditation. It contrasts my usual writing–the kind where I seem to ramble. It requires less words but more time. It requires my full attention. This is what feels good.