Tuesday, Sept. 05, 2006 @ 1:09 pm
And now I know why my mother votes the way she does.
I plunge wide mouth mason jars into the deep canning pot, the windows steam up, in the night and the morning, because summer is the time of work, in the kitchen, with the fruit and the paring knives. Maybe the sunlight slants the same way here as it does in the Valley.
I feel myself, doing these things. Pinching the edges of the pies, the rough edge of the knife against my thumb, paring towards myself, never once drawing the blood that lends me to it.
Why are you vegetarian? It took me until now to learn why my grandmother was vegetarian. Why didn't they ever tell me about my culture? I don't think it tedious.
We spent all summer canning. Pushing tomatoes deep into the corners of the jars, blanching peaches, peeling bushels of apples. Why would I want to do it now? My mother, the Doukhobor slave. Small towns have their downfalls, Shannon. Everyone knows what everyone is up to. I left for the city as soon as I could. You don't want to live there.
Her gift to me is this city. I'd cower in the backseat of the car whenever we'd drive downtown. The grey concrete, the dirty dark alleys, rumpled homeless. Crying privately, ashamed of my fear of the city. The greatness of things too much. All I wanted was a long-grassed field, tomatoes on tall stakes, my feet bare in the fecund soil.
I'll learn now, let my hands show me how to do these things that should have been learned in the summers in Castlegar.