Sunday, August 30, 2009

Meat loafing

Have you ever seen meat emerging from the other end of a grinder? Pink mottled red and white, too thick to ooze, too broken up to be recognizably steer or pig or pullet. Or Lamb.

The thing about ground meat is you can shape it, make something different (if not new). Bound with starch, it can become a ball or a loaf. Spiced, a sausage. Browned and immersed, it is a ragu or chili. Carefully wrapped with the thinnest of pastry, it is a wonton. How ground meat turns out is in the hands of the cook.

Maybe that's why a soul can feel like ground chuck: broken, smushed, rent. I didn't realize that I'd been on the wrong end of the grinder until I got here. Parked the car. Checked in. Read a welcome note from the spiritual director I'm meeting, and sobbed. But I trust that the all-time most Creative Cook knows what to do with minced soul.

Mixed with plenty of Lamb, I should be something different when I leave.

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