I have a recipe for "Irish Whiskey Marmalade." When I first saw this recipe I was worried that the whiskey was going to be reduced and in general cooked away. But this was not the case. You go through the pains of making the marmalade and pouring it into the jars and then to complete the recipe you pour the whiskey on top and seal the jars. This creates a beautiful layered and encased look.
This is how I try to rap my mind around good times and bad in my life and in the lives of those that I care about. Sometimes the only good is the bit of whiskey that's in the jar and sometimes the good is the large amount of marmalade.
Right now it feels a bit different than usual. I feel like I am the good-times-whiskey (this is not just because I drink too much) surrounding the bad-times-marmalade of others. My life is moving on in a positive direction. Not only do I have a good job, but I am on my way to being debt free and saving money for some very important things. The snow is melting here in my part of Colorado. Purim brought hamantaschen from Mike's parents' temple on Saturday. My sock club package was waiting for me on the porch when we came back from a grocery shopping trip that cost 30 bucks less than normal because we bought more fresh veggies and fruits than our usual processed foods. A new place to knit opened up in our area that has wonderful coffee and wonderful folks. I am, in general, feeling very fortunate right now. This has thrown me head first into a vast sea of guilt.
Why am I doing so well when all those that I care about seem to be in the middle of the worst times of their lives? What makes this worse is that I have no idea how to help. So, I do the only thing that I can. I offer to make them socks. I have an unbelievably long list of folks to make socks for right now. So, I am knitting my little heart out. Stopping for very little. The arrival of my sock club is like the arrival of comfort food. Mike cooks the food to make folks feel better and I make the socks.
In the previously mentioned recipe, there is far less whiskey than there is marmalade, but they look very cozy in the final jar arrangement, as if they are engaged in a comforting embrace. And maybe this is part of it. Maybe some of us do well when others are not doing so well so that we can support each other in times of need. I'm not sure.
So, to all of those out there that are in pain right now, I am not entitled to the sadness I feel at the knowledge of your pain. However, if there is anything I can do, let me know. I'll be the whiskey to your marmalade. Let me embrace you. I have hugs to give.