This is a bit of an experiment - a journey to a dusty room in my mind, an attic room shot with sun motes and smelling of old maps. It's a room I haven't visited much in recent times, but with good reason. These have been times of great tectonic shifts in my life, times of arduous transition. I have become a wife (something I never hoped to be) and a mother (something I never planned to be). Each of these things has been a brilliant shard of happiness, something quite other than I ever suspected it of being. Now, feeling at ease in my new life, adrift on its surface like a small boat - tethered and dreaming, I feel it's time to return, and roam the corridors of my imagination once again.
Here I am, ready to open the swollen, creaky door, dust out the corners, clear out a few of the cobwebs that have collected (though not too many...since they create a nice effect) and set to work.
It's exciting...my fingertips are tingling with anticipation. What to make? What to collect? What to tack up on the walls of this room of mine? My hand is inches from the doorknob...I can just see a sliver of light from an attic window, and hear a flutter of wings in the eves.
But first, a preface. I have tagged this blog une envie...which, in French, means something between a craving and a desire, as you would crave a cup of coffee, or a particularly light pastry, frosted and dewy, set behind reflective glass. I like the word, because I often crave imagery that way - so intensely that it makes my mouth water. This "room" is where I will keep the imagery that makes me crave, like truffles in a pastry case, like sugared almonds in a paper cone, like the smell of roasting chestnuts on a city street.
The blog itself, as you see, is called "Une Envie de Sel", or a craving for salt. I happened upon it as the title of a food piece in a French magazine, and liked the ring of it, like the rap of a butterknife on crystal. I like it on multiple levels, which is what makes it right. I like it because it is more or less the opposite of "a craving for sugar", which would, of course, be too obvious. I like it because salt is a spice, perhaps the purest spice, and our life is all about food - my husband being a reformed chef, and our world centering around our cluttered and well-used kitchen. We are sybarites in this way - sybarites of meager means. What money we have, we often spend on indulging our love for food - both frivolous and essential. Then there are the more random and mystic elements - for instance, a doctor once diagnosed me as needing more salt in my diet. Who, I ask you, needs more salt? Most people are told they need less salt. This remains a mystery even to me. And then there's the fact that my great uncle Josef, the man who married my great aunt Madeleine (who was previously a nun...but that's another story) was a "salt farmer" in the south of France. I wrote an essay about him in grade school. So you see, it was just....right.
In any case, welcome, welcome, welcome. Welcome to my secret room...