It’s not easy being an extrovert (or green). Despite my loquacious nature, I have a secret wish to be an introvert. I’ve always marveled at how they can step back and observe the world quietly without feeling an urge fill lulls in conversation or interrupt a peaceful silence by vocalizing their thoughts. Me? Well, I observe, but I have a hard time sitting in stillness. I get itchy, overly aware and awkward. It’s a vicious cycle. The more I notice the silence, the more awkward I feel, the more I want to talk to fill the gap, the less I think about what I want to say, the quicker it flies out of my mouth and I end up feeling awkward anyway. Hell, I even feel awkward re-reading that.
My brain never seemed to learn to rest. To pause. To take deep breaths. To be intentional. When I was working at a poetry retreat, I had the honor of helping to host a group of Native American poets. I listened intently to their words, in awe of their verbal economy & beautiful prose. I wish I remembered more of our conversations, but what stayed was one about breath and how each inhale is an opportunity to absorb a piece of the universe and with every exhale comes the privilege to contribute to it.
As I recount 10,000+ tweets, hundreds of wallposts and millions of silence-destroying verbal utterances over a lifetime, I’m humbled and embarassed by the thoughtless clutter I’m apt to adding to the world. I’m also in awe at how little I’ve taken in–from lung-stretching, barrel-chesting inhalations to stories from strangers and friends that were silenced by my constant chatter.
Speaking isn’t all bad. In fact it’s one of the best ways I know to help others. Between the three jobs I’ve held over the past 6 months, I’ve spent 45-60 hours a week tutoring, teaching classes, describing menu items, talking to students and solving problems. By the time the new school year began, my brain felt numb from repeating the same words to hundreds of students and I knew it was time for a change. Two and a half weeks, 3 books on mindfulness meditation and fifteen yoga classes later, I have an overwhelming desire to step back and not feel compelled to share so much…
…which of course brings me to these brown butter bourbon apple honey handpies. I made them with friends in mind. I wanted to enjoy them over tea, laughing together while letting a friend pour out their soul as I nibbled and listened intently.
When my lips first met this crust, I was graced with the brevity of the poets via the brown butter gods. Tender. Nutty. Buttery. Flecked. Subtly sweet. Addictive. Emotions lingered on my tongue and drifted lazily up to my brain before registering in my thoughts and manifesting themselves in words like exhales. As I sat crosslegged on my kitchen floor, I relished in the moment–six perfectly portioned pies on a plate at my feet, sweatpants freckled with crumbs and the sweet realization that I didn’t intend on sharing a single one.
[And yes, I do see the irony in posting about not sharing for an event called #Baketogether, but it's BAKE together, not EAT together ;) If you'd like to join in on the #Baketogether fun, check out the sweet and always-gracious [I bet she's a good sharer!] Abby Dodge’s site. And for more mini-treats, handheld sweets and things I would most definitely eat, be sure to snag a copy of her new book!]
Brown Butter Bourbon Apple Honey Handpies
makes 6 handpies