The Baked-on Bits

Our bodies are the physical containers for the souls within – like a cauldron full of stew.  Our cauldron can be full of juicy delectable things such as a birth of a child, a happy marriage, the joy of attaining a goal, satisfaction in our hobbies, family, and friends; and of course, a few tart undesirable things will swish about like our pet peeves, disappointments and regrets but when life is simmering in a gentle warmth, all is good. 

 But life never remains simmering only on a low and gentle setting.  It flares at times.  It curls around us.  It threatens to melt our very being.  And what happens when it rages too hot for too long?  For a lower-grade pot, perhaps it warps and cracks but for the higher-grade pot, it “bakes” the contents into our very being like the scorched bottom on a Dutch oven, that kind of blackened debris that we must scrape out with a spoon.  But we don’t scrape it out, do we?  Scraping is painful and after a burning, it’s easier to forget and let it be, to never pull that blackened mess up to the surface.  We might not even realize that we never stir near the bottom of our cauldron. 

 I used to say that “the monsters in the closet” only got bigger each time I tried to shove them back into the closet, that closet each one of us have in the corner of our minds where we stash those awful things away.  I thought I had battled and attacked and vanquished each and every one of them but I forgot about the baked coating sticking to the bottom of the cauldron.  I forgot that that baked-on cauldron bottoms soften over time and small flakes and clumps bubble up to the top. 

 I wonder if I should reach for a spoon to sift and sort, to pull these repulsive clumps out but as I touch upon each one, I find a mixture of both bad and good.  The bad, so easy to throw away.  No second thought.  No regret.  What I didn’t expect to find was good mixed in.  What do I do with this tainted good?  Should I recoil away?  Should I look closer and embrace this blackened clump that once was my life?  I find myself perplexed and I don’t know the answer.

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