Sometimes I have a hard time at the beginning of the school year, mostly because I am not a student anymore. I loved school. I was really good at school. I would have made an excellent professional student. And sometimes I wish I had been a teacher just so I could always have that new school year feeling every year.
The start of the school year was full of the promise of beginnings. There was hope and excitement and opportunity. There was a period of controlled uncertainty, when you weren’t sure what your classes would be like exactly, or if you’d be up to the challenge of the projects you would be doing. I miss this. I miss this opportunity to re-imagine yourself and your future every year, because that future is now, and to be honest it’s not exactly what I thought it would be.
I love my life so very much. But there is very little of it that is how I thought it would be 5 years or so ago, and sometimes it’s hard for me to reconcile that discrepancy in my head. I work two small semi-part-time jobs that I, for the most part, love. This leaves me lots of time to do other things that I love too, like reading and writing and cooking and keeping my house clean. And in the future this will give me lots of time to spend with hypothetical children, which is also very important to me.
But I don’t have that “career” that everyone plans in high school in college. Instead, I am just doing what has landed in front of me. And I think, perhaps, that the fact that I am so happy with this means that I am exactly where I need to be (in fact, I think the simple fact that I am there means it is exactly where I need to be) even if I do fill myself with doubt sometimes.
Gerrit and I were lying in bed reading the other night and I turned over to him and starting saying all these things and more. And the words literally came out of my mouth, “But what do I have to be proud of? What I have I accomplished?” And while many, including Gerrit, would argue that this list is extensive, the only word that came to my head is nothing. At first in a sour and envious way. Nothing.
But then it came in a content and relieving way. Nothing. Of course. Nothing. Because this is what grace is.
I am reading Madeleine L’Engle’s book Walking on Water right now. It is a book about art and creating and faith and how it all intertwines together. And one of my favorite quotes that she quotes, from Emmanuel Cardinal Suhard, is this:
To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda, nor even stirring people up, but in being a living mystery. It means to live in such a way that one’s life would not make sense if God did not exist.
I’d like to think that this applies to me. I’d like to think that the fact that I can’t always see my purpose doesn’t mean it isn’t there, that some of the things I do and the way my life pans out may not make sense to the world but still has its importance. I know it does.
My life doesn’t even make sense to me sometimes, let alone to the rest of the world. But perhaps my inability to sort it out means that something is right.
Ok. Let’s have some chocolate, yes?
adapted from The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook
Considering that this is a sorbet, meaning its water content is quite high, I was worried that it was going to taste like watered down chocolate. Don’t be fooled; it does not. This stuff is rich, I think perhaps because it is pure chocolate flavor unadulterated by cream or milk. Also, don’t be tricked into thinking because it is a sorbet, it is low fat. It is not (look at the nutrition facts on the back of your 3.5 oz. chocolate bar for evidence). But it is so completely worth it.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Freeze Time: 30-45 minutes*
5 cups water
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
10 oz. good bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1. In a large saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Once the sugar has dissolved, whisk in the cocoa powder and stir until it dissolves. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir until melted.
2. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
3. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker, and freeze according to your manufacturer’s instructions (I found it took a bit longer to freeze than regular ice cream).
4. Pour into a storage container and place in the freezer until ready to serve. Before serving, let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
*Time depends on your manufacturer’s instructions, but I did find that this seemed to take a bit longer to freeze than most of the ice creams I make.