I had what I would call an iconically bizarre weekend. Let’s set some parameters here – first of all, I haven’t left the house, nor did I meet up with anyone other than on a Zoom call. However, each time I checked on the news, it seemed the the world was going completely bonkers, even more than usual. One moment the focus is entirely on the blocked Suez Canal, next it’s on the debacle of Brazil and the unravelling situation in Myanmar where failure of public administration is at its peak. I take my eyes away from the news for a few hours, only to find out that the guidelines for COVID-19 have changed yet again in Germany. Did I forget anything? Oh yes, we are back on that inconsequentially useless and antiquated concept of daylight savings time. Whoopeedoo. The EU has been discussing the discontinuation of this nonsense for years and are no closer to a solution. No surprises there.
Sunday, yesterday, marked the second day of Passover, the first day of Holi, and Palm Sunday. Wow. Talk about interfaith dialogue and conjunction! Palm Sunday was intimately personal and meaningful to me this year, as I received messages from my Jesuit spiritual mentor whom I have known for over 30 years. He was on his way to give a retreat and replied to my message, sending me words of comfort and joy that I needed to hear.
I truly miss celebrating Holi in India, the riotous colours and general high spirits that come with the occasion. I never gave a hoot about the mess or the clothes that are summarily rendered useless after they were drenched in colours, it was carefree fun and it felt wonderful to be part of a community. That is what is missing this year all around the globe, that sense of community, coming together for a celebration and reaching out to one another in joy and friendship, handshakes and hugs, and simply savouring the closeness. None of that is acceptable behaviour under the present circumstances and that is a travesty. The concept of being good neighbours has also sailed down the river. The best behaviour for neighbours now is to keep distance from one another, and that makes life so lonely. I have often wondered these past weeks whether we will ever be able to recover from this. It is no longer a matter of being resilient or embracing the new normal. There is no normal and it isn’t new because it changes every bloody day.
Since it’s my Monday rant and I woke up to an obnoxiously mixed bag of emails this morning, I couldn’t settle down to write until this evening. Between wondering how to strike back at the incompetence of government agencies who have forgotten the concept of service (at least here in Berlin) and the dismal job market that gets murkier by the hour, I decided to take my frustration out on the oven. Yes, my sparkling newly-cleaned-and-polished-oven. Screw the neatness, I needed to make an inglorious mess and create something sinfully delicious while still remaining within the realm of healthy. After all, I am German now so I am generically obliged to over-complicate matters.
It was with the greatest of decadent pleasures that I transformed into a culinary dominatrix, using and abusing the trusty mixer, opting for silicon instead of latex, and whipping out every possible ingredient I had in the cupboards. If I couldn’t orchestrate a plot of characters or come up with the political critique I intended, I was certainly going to take it out on the next best thing. I’ll spare you the kinky details of spreading and licking, and fast forward to the results: I have a gorgeous multigrain loaf of bread,
The bread and its heady aroma were not enough. My hunger and desire for something sweet and gooey were not yet satisfied. Out came the other accessories of the mixer and I was back to dominatrix mode – but this time taking the kinkiness to an exotic chocolatey level. My go-to recipe on such occasions is always my mother’s chocolate fudge cake, which I pretty much do from memory these days, and have made the necessary adjustments along the way to suit my needs and tastebuds.
Do I feel better? Are you kidding me? After this chocolate extravagasm my world is back in sync and I end the day with this beauty as a heavenly reward.