Alien Corpse Found in Home Installation

It was the abused children and Anne Frank during my elementary years. High school was for racism and undergrad was for classism.

Grad school was for the impoverished.

Late twenties was for death and mother earth.

Early thirties was for animal suffering.

This a timeline of my sorrows: The source of deep sunken tears when my thoughts turn dark and lonesome. Image

I have this place where my sorrows stir. Where if I wallow too long, I get stuck in the muck.

The only way out is…

SEA

…a moment in the presence of the amazing

Image

…laughter at the absurd

 

…a dream reawakened by the hope that someday…one day…

…forgiveness in the arms of the Most Patient Above.

…the tiny spark of love

anxious to ignite

a simple glance to the light

to scatter my fright.

 

(Post written in 2014-February)

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Digging up bones

Last night my sister in law had a movie night with her best friends in our shared home. I told one of the friends to check out the Qatiaf recipe if she is interested on my blog. Her response:”You have a blog?! What is it and why don’t I subscribe to it??!”

Her enthusiasm apparently excited something inside me to get back to MissCorrigan. Maybe it had to do with remembering how much I enjoy close friends doing nothing but enjoying the evening. Maybe its the power of nostagia; or the need to make sense of things so not to lose perspective…its so easy to go off track.

Earlier that evening, I lost perspective (for the upteenth time) and yelled at my husband for a couple hours-what was the reason for my anger? Ok-Anything that comes to my mind in anger-I went through the crawl space of my subconscious and found some things in there…

Spilled Milk

Spilled Milk

Then I went to sleep and dreamed that I was in the front seat of a roller coaster that I knew was completely absent of track at the end. It went way too fast and ended in a loopdy loop at the end dropping to the ground and ending my life. I felt the very end of it-my life and woke immediately.

But somehow today my mind is clear. It is currently uploading 42,900 memories  into my brain theater. I remember how I told a concerned adult at 16, when I felt the first twinges of real sadness (that is part of all lives but too deafening to deal with adequately as a naive human) that the reason I was depressed had to do with some girls at school making me feel bad. Almost 20 years later I am doing the same thing with my husband; telling him the reason for my tumultuous feelings had to do with this or that, him or her, and ultimately he was to blame.

But it never really is about any of that, is it?

Sunset on Hilltop

Sunset on Hilltop

Why do the saddest songs have the most enjoyable beats and catchiest lyrics? (See for example Slave Driver(B.Marley))

I also threatened to leave. And it hit me the many times I did just that to people in my life. The times I walked away, couldn’t forgive, gave up, started fresh. Usually I am thinking of those who left me in one way or another. Why at that moment when I yell at my husband do I actually believe that that is what I want? When my head is clear, its absolutely absurd.

“They say time can play tricks on a mem’ry
Make people forget things they knew”

I was mean too, as mean as I could be. I wish I could always be clear. My only hope is to pour my emotion into art, into body, and into mind. And leave the real joy that is real life for the loves of my life. They deserve nothing less and really, neither do I.

Hands in at all times. Except for when they are courageously up in the air in delight.

And Then The Rain Came

This thing they call happiness, it suits me just fine…Volcano?

Lately, I find myself singing. Making up verse as I putter through the day. A song may start something like this:

(To the Tune of On Top of Old Smokey)

Oh beautiful oven mitt, all scorched and holey. 

Full of old red sauce and ravi-o-l-i.

(After lost in the trance of the task at hand, I then transition into something like the following:)

(To the tune of Everybody Dance Now)

Everybody groove now, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh…C’mon let’s move, let’s da-a-ance! Move...(Immediate transition to the tune of Respect by Aretha Franklin):What you are! Baby I got it. What you need, you know I want it! All I’m asking is for a little Respect when you come home! Just a little bit…Respect. just a little bit wheeohwheeohwheeeeee…

Here I will quit boring with you the gritty details. There’s a message in this madness, allow me to dig it up…It’s here somewhere…Ah yes, here we are:wheel of fortune

Well, Dear Readers of Miss Corrigan,

A warm breeze by the name of happiness has invited himself over and seems to be making himself comfortable indeed.  How can I explain this? This, feeling of joy at the sound of the constant rain pouring into the scorched earth. At the sight of the neon green sprouts and electric orange buds sprouting from the Aloe Vera drinking the rain with all of it’s might.

It is not a smile that this joy brings, albeit its presence is prevalent to say the least,  no this joy, for lack of a better word, is something that covers one like the most wonderful blanket in the world. It is waterproof, but not rain proof, it allows one to feel the soft breeze and inhale the fresh sky filled with fresh life.

As the wheel of fortune turns, we experience life at times without the blanket. Sometimes without a roof, a bed, or our favorite toy. We experience life’s events hungry, cold, and lonely. Sometimes we lose everything.

But the wheel spins, folks. The wheel spins.

Yours truly,

Miss Corrigan

For a look at how the wheel spins, read an article written almost exactly a year earlier

Ma’amoul (Shortbread Cookies With Dates)

What a wonderful time of year! A time in which many feel enormous gratitude and happiness. The long, yet too short month of Ramadan is over, and its time to celebrate with family and friends. Ma’amoul is a traditional dessert served. It goes perfect with tea, as I am enjoying the combination right now. Eating it is as important as the preparation stage. In some places, droves of women will gather in common areas and spread their blankets out and together, prepare the dish. While I didn’t have the pleasure of such, my experience this year was surely just as nice.

As a new wife, I am happily getting to know new family. Family with rich experiences, stories, and skills, have only just begun to unfold around me, and my heart is wide open. I vow to never let trivial squabbles ever come between us, we will not argue over money, and let’s never hold a grudge.  This is my Eid wish for me and my new family, and yours too! Now for the Ma’amoul courtesy of a beautiful woman, my new friend,  hard-working mother of three.

Pictures provided at the end of the recipe come from the oldest son(age 8), who borrowed my phone to snap some pictures, lending well to the atmosphere of our particular experience.

Enjoy and Eid Mubarak! (Happy Eid!)

Dough ingredients

9 cups semolina flour

3 cups Butter (or Crisco, yellow with butter flavor)

3/4 cups Mazola oil or canola

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Day Two Dough Ingredients:

Freshly ground anise

A couple of pinches of yeast

Warm water

Filling ingredients

Date paste (You can make your own using dates, but we used a package):

One teaspoon of butter

A pinch each of cinnamon and nutmeg

Step One: Prepare the dough one day ahead

Combine the dry ingredients, then add melted butter (not hot) and oil. Mix the ingredients very well, cover, and let stand. Your dough should feel very powdery to the touch and somewhat dry. The next day,  it is ready to be used.

You will now add your Day 2 ingredients (a couple of pinches of yeast, a pinch each of cinnamon and nutmeg and a splash of warm water.

Step Two: Add Day 2 ingredients to your dough

The water should only be slightly warm, not hot. Now you are ready to mix the dough with your hands. Add water until your dough can be easily molded. Set aside for two hours in a warm place.

Step Three: Prepare your pliable dough and let sit for 2 hours

While you wait for your dough to rise a little, you can make the filling. Add the ingredients and mix together.

Step Four: Prepare your date filling

Mold your filling into small balls about the circumference of a nickel.

Step five: Shape your filling

When your dough is ready, it’s time to mold your cookies. Pluck a bit of dough, just enough to cover your filling. Roll into a ball and then press an indent with your thumb.

Step 6: Shape your cookies around the filling

Round out the cookie and press your forefinger into the middle and rotate.

Rotate your thumb around while keeping your forefinger in the middle until you have a small ring

Fill an entire pan, and let sit covered for 20 minutes.

Step 7: Cover your cookies and let sit for 20 minutes

Now they are ready for the oven.  Pop them in at 350 degrees for about 11 minutes. If they seem to be able to use some browning, turn on the low broil for a minute or two.

Once they are completely cool, dust powdered sugar over them or leave plain.

Powdered Ma’amoul

Another option for molding your cookies is to use a cookie cutter that is traditional and recognizable. Ma’amoul can have other fillings, so this shape help identifies your favorite one when it’s time to enjoy.

Shape cookie and flatten into cookie cutter, pound out by tapping table

Traditional shape: Date cookie

Extra Step (Walnut Filled Cookies)

Other traditional fillings include walnuts or pistachios, and also have a particularly recognizable shape. We also made a couple of pans of walnut cookies, using the same dough.

Mix dry ingredients for walnut filling

The filling is very sticky, it includes walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, honey, and simple syrup. Do not add anise, as this is only for the date cookies.

Mix wet ingredients into walnut filling

Mold your dough, press into your cookie cutter, and bake

Well, what a day making such delicious  cookies, I hope you enjoy making them in your home. Don’t forget to take time and enjoy your company. Until next time!