Surprised.

“An Ambush,” said Owl, “is a sort of Surprise.”

“So is a gorse-bush sometimes,” said Pooh.

A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

It surprises me that I’m sitting here typing this out into the void. It surprises me even though it was planned and deliberate. It has been years in the making and it’s nothing special. But at last, no joke, it’s here. It will surprise me to hit publish, as it surprised me a week ago to be buying a domain. The name of this little patch of Internet surprised me too, coming at me at the height of stress of my erstwhile career as a middle school teacher.

Belligerence is a lovely word you see, with a less than lovely meaning. It rolls off the tongue has the thrill of Latin roots (my inner medievalist and closet-amateur-philologist selves have a little squee together over it). But I can’t really spin it as a positive attribute. It’s something that I work at keeping under control, if not under cover. I am a headstrong (my dear mother would say pig-headed). I used to pretend I was a super hero called Marie-Éclair* when I was a kid.  St Ignatius of Loyola, St Joan of Arc, St Scholastica and St Hildegard are some of my heroes. Fighters and Leaders. This goes deep. I need to channel my inner rage creatively. Beauty will save the world.

Chocolate is well… delicious. And I could stop there, but I won’t. I love to feed people. My old landlady used to introduce me to people as “The French girl who bakes”. I used to leave work in a rush every other Monday to feed a hoard of 4th year physicists who would take over my dining room to finish their assignments. I’ve driven across town in the pouring rain to get cookies and casseroles out to friends who needed them. Competitive desserts, elaborate dinner parties, huge backyard BBQs, brunch for a crowd, triple fondue dinner, bi-weekly soup night, impromptu invitations where I wasn’t sure I even had food for these people and no way to get any before they showed up, that’s how I roll. It’s what I do best. And if there’s chocolate in there somewhere, so much the better.

I’m surprised again! You’re still reading! I look forward to sharing some of the Beauty that comes out of the Rage, and more than a few recipes (with and without Chocolate).

Love,
Claire

*Éclair like lightning, not the pastry, but I guess that would work too.

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