To My Valentine Gushy Love Stuff

It’s been a rough year. That sentence doesn’t even come close to expressing what I’ve put you through. The fact that you’re still here after this year… Either you really love me or you’ve got mental issues that you probably should explore. Quite possibly both.

This time last year, we were driving each other insane baking things, but I wasn’t holding up. Every now and then, though, I would see you through the fog. That’s what kept me going as long as I lasted. I love watching you work with your hands. I love watching you really get into something that you enjoy, when you’re excited about it.

You loved me while I was a turnip. That’s not something every husband can say about his wife. I did something stupid and selfish, and you turned it into one of the most selfless moments anyone could make. You stayed with me even though I can’t remember it. You fought for me.

You brought me home and took care of me for months. And it hasn’t been fun. I wish we had been playing doctor this whole time. You learned to read lips when I couldn’t talk. You encouraged me to write. You keep encouraging me to write more.

I’ve spent a lot of time these past months in silent contemplation. I watch you, and I think about how ridiculously lucky I am to have found you. I think about how much I admire the spirit that is you, your creativity, your wit, your passion. When I close my eyes, I see your face, your eyes, your smile. I feel your heart, the goodness that is you.

So, here is my Valentine to you, my love. I can’t promise you smooth sailing or sunny days. I won’t offer you the moon and stars above. I’m afraid I can’t even give you a great romantic meal. What I give to you is simply me with all my imperfections, warts and all. And know I love you with all my heart and all my soul.

Yeah, it’s all creative, but…

Brain Filter note: This is the post from our food blog that first expressed our desire to branch out with our writing. We are reposting it here because it bears repeating. Plus having nothing but that “Hello, World” post is really sad.

I do my best writing in the car — crisp sentences, flowing paragraphs, laser-guided word choice. I compose masterpieces on the way to get gas and while I am bringing home the groceries. Then I come home where I have a laptop, a desktop, an iPhone, a ridiculous number of pads and notebooks, and pens in a variety of colors that could only come from an unsupervised Angela shopping trip (or a purchase by her indulgent husband). I have a plethora of writing tools.

And I don’t record anything.

The emails to friends, the astute cultural observations, the jokes and anecdotes. All gone from my mind to make room for something utterly inane.

Angela and I have written three books. It’s obviously not all going to waste. But I want to do something creative.

Yes, what we do is creative. But what we do is the scientific principles of cooking, the logical process of recipes, and the beautiful truth of restaurants, farms, and people. Glorious people.

I love writing like that. But I want to write the things that will make people say, “wow, Paul certainly has imagination.” Or more likely, “wow, is Paul off his meds?”

I thought about slapping together a blog for my fictional ramblings, then I decided I already had a blog of non-fiction ramblings, so why not just add a simple entry to a menu and keep all my rambling in one place. Hence the “creative writing” page on the “our work” menu.

But why did I finally come home and pick up a (boring blue) pen? Recently I did an exercise where I was shown a series of six or so photos and I had to write a flash fiction piece about each one. That was fun.

The clincher, however, goes more to my state of mind. I took a survey where I was shown Rorschach ink blots and asked to describe what I saw in detail. The first one I did as asked, but by the time I got to the acid-tripping young Londoner watching the fuchsia bobbies dancing in the tulips while chasing away the Blue Meanies, I knew I needed to commit my stories to paper. (Yes, commit the stories, not me.)

So I created this out-of-the-way little corner of our website the web so Angela and I will have a place to explore.