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March 20, 2006
I think I can take the Formica top off the kitchen island and replace it with a butcher block one. It is in perfect condition, and it has little pale green and aqua stars all over it -- in certain circles, it would be considered retro and worth money. Then I can paint the cabinet and replace the 70s Mediterranean handles with something more 19th century. Then we won't have to buy a new island.

I think I can remove the soffit from around the tops of all the wall cabinets and put crown molding up there instead. Then I could paint it all a nice cream color.

More butcher block for the countertops, I think, because the green and aqua stars ended up there, too -- I wonder if they really are worth money? And I think I can extend the counter on one side to make an "L" that wasn't there before, so that there will be room for a little bookshelf underneath to store cookbooks and get them off the counter.

Or maybe ceramic tile on the countertops.

And I have other ideas.

I can do these things in between my deadlines and business trips and spiritual direction sessions. By the time I am dead, the new kitchen should be more or less complete. My estate can have a nice open house for everybody after the funeral, and not be embarrassed.

Will our new kitchen be like our hummingbird? Longed for, prepared for all those years, and then finally, blessedly there? And will it also be true of this desire, as it was of that one, that the desiring itself will be a delight, the imagination of the event itself a foretaste of its arrival? That the contemplation of a beauty not yet seen is, itself, beautiful?

I hope so. And I think so. It is already so -- even if I never get my new kitchen, I have already loved thinking about it and planning it, reading about kitchens, looking at pictures of lovely ones, none lovelier than the one I have in my mind.

Longing for something is not necessarily sad; it can be happy. It can be anticipatory. It can be energizing: here is what I might do to bring it close, this and this. I may never get my heart's desire, but I can decide just how I will long for it -- passively waiting for someone else to bring it to me, cursing the fact that I don't have it now? Or preparing for it, learning about it, tasting it deliciously, before it even lands on my tongue?

Some hilarious good stuff this week in More or Less Church and a not-to-be-believed 8th grade examination from the turn of the last century in the HodgePodge, just in case you don't believe there's such a thing as grade inflation. Both on the Farm at Check it out.
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