Slow-Cooked Sentences

Seasoned

Rachael Conlin Levy

As a girl I lived next to a lake of hardpan that was impermeable to water. When it was dry the salt flat was as good as concrete, perfect for riding a bike or playing basketball. When it rained it became an enormous puddle, and I’d crouch at its rim to watch clouds skim over this mirrored sky, and at the brine shrimp that hatched. With a stick I’d write on the clay bottom until the water grew milky and the words disappeared. Days would pass. The lake shrank, and a ring of salt crusted at the shoreline. I’d take a fingernail, scratch off crystals and lick them away.

In December I stopped writing. I didn’t miss it, but neither did I like the taste of life no longer salted for my tongue. The decision to misplace the pen and cover my notebook with a stack of other people’s books might have something to do with reaching mid-life: I’ve caught myself revisiting, re-evaluating, re-scaling dreams so they were smaller and more modest. This hurt. Jeez, I thought, I may just as well curl up and die.

Or I may just as well say fuck, my life needs more salt to make the sweet sweeter, to take the edge off bitterness. So I’ve returned to the table and I hope you’ll pull up a chair, because we’re in this together, equal parts sodium and chlorine. Writing isn’t solitary, but a meal made for two, me and you, bearing witness to each other’s artistic work, responding to and encouraging the existence and value of our creations.

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9 responses to “Seasoned”

  1. Denise says:

    Thank goodness. I was wondering where the heck you were. You, my friend, cannot put down your pen. No way.

  2. The writing, yes. And the images! Love that photo. It’s like a symbol of the writing life, isn’t it…the swirling trail is what we leave behind as we go through it.

  3. Mason says:

    Glad you’re back! I always enjoy your writing.

  4. kyndale says:

    Yes! Please more Rachael! I love your writing!

  5. Thanks everyone for your support. I’m looking forward to catching up on your blogs. xo -Rachael

  6. bill conlin says:

    This is good Rachael, and your imagery of the alkali flat is tops. But it’s your description of the taste of salt at waters edge that helps me to remember how life can be so interesting if we only take those risky steps and venture out into it.

  7. Kyna Moser says:

    Yes!

  8. Coral says:

    Glad to hear you are back on the writing train, sharing your eloquent words and interesting thoughts. 🙂

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