Canning and Writing

I spent the day canning more salsa; it took hours to end up with three and a half quarts!  No matter, for time means nothing to me these days.  It is just a pleasure to be here.  I usually spend a lot of time writing whatever I post the days I actually do, but today I was in the garden, then in the kitchen, all for the love of home made salsa.  Thus, I went back through some of my earlier writing and found something I wrote earlier this year.  It is an example of how I adapt, change, and come out on the other side of insomnia, worry, and possible depression.  I share, and hope it is not “too much information!”


March 29, 2012

Once again, I have gotten back up from my bed, unable to sleep.  It is just after 2:00 A.M. and I seek a way to quiet my mind.  It does not seem possible that I have actually experienced about eight weeks of not being depressed.  I hope this is not a signal that I am heading in another downward spiral.  It has been a while since I wrote to myself.  Maybe I have missed doing this.

So far this spring of 2012, I have immersed myself in gardening.  As I have no job to go to every morning, and have less money coming in, I have determined the time has arrived for me to actually grow some food.  The seedlings I started several weeks back are growing, and in another few weeks, I hope the tiny tomatoes and peppers will be strong enough to put in the ground.  The tending to these seedlings has been a respite from worrying about the fact that I cannot go to the grocery store any time I desire something to eat, such as a piece of beef, or a bit of fish or chicken.  I have not had any fresh meat for a while now, and I sometimes miss the immediate satisfaction of knowing I am getting enough protein.  I do not consider myself a vegetarian, but am now a vegetarian more than I have been in over thirty years.  This is probably a good thing, given my diagnosed diverticulosis.  Also, the awareness of the fact that the food I buy in the local grocery store is probably full of chemicals that are not good for me makes me okay with not purchasing meat.  For the last three months I have made trips to a town an hour’s drive away in order to get organically grown vegetables.  The food I get seems more expensive, but I am glad to pay the price, knowing I am not ingesting chemicals.

Actually, I am blessed.  Despite not having income that sustains buying anything I want whenever I wish, I know that somehow, this will pass.  Having money is something I experienced for a little while, but not enough to stash any into a savings account.  When I did have money, it seemed as though I tried to spend it as quickly as possible.  Now that I have less money, I have discovered I can do without it.  When I think about all the bills I pay each month, before I purchase groceries or buy gasoline, I wonder why I cannot contact the corporations to whom I owe so much money and ask for forgiveness of my debt.  I do not dwell on this idea for long, as I know that there is no person with whom I could speak who would have any true say in the possibility.  I would get to talk to a “customer service” person who would say, “I apologize for not being able to assist you in this matter.  I can perhaps waive any late fee, this one time.”  The persons around the boardroom table would never even consider hearing my plea for help, as they have set it up to where they alone benefit, and only they may experience the freedom from lack of money.  There are so many like myself in the world who are at the mercy of these persons controlling the money.  They do not wish to hear about their fellow humans who lack enough money with which to buy the food necessary to be nourished.  Thus, I look at my own circumstance and realize I have, at least, the blessing of earth that I can till and into which I can plant seed and small seedlings.

What is disturbing to me is that I am rich, compared to so many on the planet.  Around the planet, as well as here in this country, the United States of America, there are millions that do not have even this option.  I lived most of my childhood in a “third-world” country, aware at the early age of five that my neighbors across the dirt lane were always hungry.  How they survived, I will never know.  I just know that they lived their days without amenities that I took for granted, such as running water, clothes to wear,  clean water to drink, and more food than they had, for certain.  It was not until I came to the U.S.A. that I realized I was not as rich as I had always believed.  It was a shock to realize how much people took for granted.  I had never been told that the day might come when I would not have enough with which to live.  Because of my heritage, it was assumed I would always have enough.  I was never given lectures on economics, or how to think about money or the accumulation of it.  I have stumbled along through this life with the expectation of somehow always making do, “landing on my feet,” as my older sister described herself and her life, which sounds a bit like my own “reality.”

Over the years, I have come to see that when I allow myself to be troubled by the financial circumstances in which I find myself, I end up horribly depressed.  The only way out of this self-created depression is to realize how much of an illusion everything is.

This body through which I experience this life is short-lived, so much so, that when the time comes to drop this body, it will seem as though its existence was a mere blip in time.  All these years have been spent working through my own emotional reactions to circumstances and interpersonal relationships.  These last ten years I have spent essentially alone, without a mate or a close friend in whom to confide and share what is happening with me.  I have had to feel my way out of the initial fear-based darkness, confusion, and loneliness to get to the other side of depression.  Saying that I have been alone is also another illusion I have had to face, for the truth is, I have not been alone.

I may wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night alone, but I am not alone.  I feel a connection to everyone I meet, and to those I do not meet.  I know we are all here, participating in this life, interconnected.  I no longer require the actual physical presence of another to know I am not alone.  As I watch the leaves bud forth from the trees that in the winter appeared dead, somehow the renewed life reinforces the wordless understanding I have that there is a force present that is such a mystery.  It is such a powerful force, and it is everywhere present.  It is the unseen energy that permeates all that is, from the molten furnace in the center of this earth to the limitless stars out in space, and everything in between.  That I get to be here as witness to it all, a part of it all is a phenomenon I would never even attempt to explain.  I am simply here, and it is illusory, short-lived, but definitely wondrous, beyond these words.

This awareness that helps me transcend my ordinary worries is the ultimate blessing.  I can be vulnerable to what is or is not happening in my life, but in the end, I know all is well.

An hour has passed.  My bed is still there, waiting for me to nestle into it, and the sun’s early rays are just a few winks away.  I still have time to go to sleep and dream.  Waking or sleeping, it seems as though this life is one constant adventure into the unknown.

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4 Responses to Canning and Writing

  1. David Price says:

    A beauty.

    • admin says:

      So glad you like this.

      • Kristy says:

        I’m pretty new to cannng but have had good success so far. From what I understand, wax is old school method. It might cover the canned product, such as jam and keep it from air but it doesn’t guarantee a safe yeast and mold environment like the water bath method. This way has worked for me quite easily. You don’t need wax and you fill the jar to the top minus the required head space and boil it for 10 minutes. I made strawberry jam that was better than any store bought stuff! Drop the wax.

        • admin says:

          Actually, I don’t use the wax method in canning, although I am definitely “old school!” 🙂
          Canning my own food gives me great satisfaction. Most definitely, as you said, the home-canned food tastes better than anything one can buy in the store.

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