Imagining Soup

First, you begin with an onion. Cut off the root and the flower ends and then cut in half and peel off the outer layers. Slice longitudinally, holding the pieces together, and then cut across, lengthwise. The last few cuts may be the most difficult. Toss in a stock pot, place on the stove, add some olive oil (extra virgin, what else), and turn on the heat.

Now you are ready to begin making soup.

I cannot imagine what it must feel like to be married to me. I have so many unspoken rules. I have ways of doing things that have seventeen steps. My instructions for putting a pillowcase on a pillow could take a five minute youtube video. I am ridiculous.

The above is what I think when I am chopping an onion. The good news is that I am becoming better at figuring out how to teach without demanding things be done my way. Of course I think that my way is the best… however, that does not necessarily make it true. I have learned to teach, showing how I do it, and then watch my husband create his own way that gets the job done.

If I always assumed that my way was the best, then I would miss out on two very important things.

One, I would never learn a new way of doing something. Can you imagine going through life doing things the exact same way each and every time. To imagine that you got it right the first time and that you knew the perfect way to do it the very first time. That not only is incredibly arrogant, but it would also be boring. I love learning new ways of doing things. I love learning new things. And I love learning from others.

It’s why I love watching children. They try things out. They can try something one way, then come up with a solution diametrically different from the first. Their creative imagination astounds me.

Two, I would never be able to give up a task. See, if I think that my way is best, and there are others who are creative around me, and I think that something has to happen my way, then I would have to maintain control the whole time, never be able to rest, and never respond to the imagination of others. Not only is that exhausting, it is also terribly lonely.

I am continuing to learn from others, especially my husband, about the thousands of ways to get the task done. I move through this world, releasing control and learning about the creativity of others.

I love to cook. I am rather good at creating a new dish from the ingredients in my kitchen with no notice or recipe. It is one of the places where I can create with full liberty. But sometimes I don’t exactly feel like cooking, and so my husband steps in. And for him, rather than standing at his elbow, making sure he does it exactly my way, I allow him to do his thing, and he gets the job done. The soup still tastes delicious.

First, you chop an onion.


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