Life never fails to offer opportunities that demand high tolls on participants; to not participate is never a real option. As an accomplishment to be applauded, V. has left for Thunder Bay to work under her first professional contract. Sadly, she has left and I have stood still. To pretend that such things are trivial would go against the idea of “while we can”, but to become destroyed due to the hardships we encounter would be worse. All one can do is celebrate the success and accept the changes. As I am apt to do, I cooked a final dinner to enjoy before she took her leave.
Smoked salmon canapé on tea biscuits with creme fraiche began as an accompaniment to an excellent bottle of Veuve-Cliquot champagne. Veuve is my favourite champagne, and no important occasion is complete without it. I have enjoyed it many, many times in my life, so I must be doing something right along the way.
Next up was the little neck clams steamed in sea salt, garlic and fino sherry. The taste was sharply salty and forward, which was lovely and Spanish in concept. Clams are a nice, simple dish to enjoy without too much preparation. Let’s face it: special occasions are meant to be spent at the table and not chained to the stove. The salted broth was used to boil the guests of the night, two mid-size lobsters in soft shells. Lobster is a treat once or twice a season. Any more than that, and I believe that the special flavours are lost to the commonplace.
The next year will be one of transition. The meaning and use of my weekly time will change to fill the empty pockets of the day. While the past two weeks were not spent writing, photographing, reading or working, they were profitable and critical for the journey ahead. Gains can be made from losses once the time is taken to be done with sorrow. With a brilliant new straight razor from Max Sprecher in Las Vegas, carbon fibre parts for the Ducati Monster, and a collection of absolutely wicked new products from Base Camp X to photograph I will be far from bored to death. In fact, I took a quick shot of my own personal BCX Airborne throwing axe that Graeme delivered earlier in the week. The tool is mythic in its beauty, and is only matched by the khukri knife that also found its way my way. Were I in Wagner’s Ring opera, then I would not feel out of place…and maybe that is where the key to survival from life’s challenges can be found: in the mythic imagination of what is great, and what is beautiful about how we play the cards we are dealt.