Monday, December 17, 2012

Inspirations For a Day When We Try to Forget Our Vulnerabilities

This will be a day when some of us return to school and try to forget how vulnerable we are--or, if not forget, to carry on in the face of the knowledge of that vulnerability.  Some people will be discussing mental health issues and some will be discussing gun control and some will move on to other issues.

It's too easy to let the bad news of the world paralyze us.  Let us not cower in fear.  Let us return to our creative work.

In our despair, we might say, "Why bother?  It will all end in tears anyway--and no one is paying attention!"

We just do not know.  As encouragement, I'd offer this:  on this day in 1892, the ballet The Nutcracker premiered.  It was not the beloved the way it is today.  In fact, today's post on The Writer's Almanac says, "Tchaikovsky died less than a year later, and had no idea that The Nutcracker would become a classic — many people consider it the most popular ballet in the world."

All we can do is create the work.  We have no control over what happens next.

But maybe today you need a creative venture with a more certain outcome.  Maybe it's time for holiday cookies.  Or maybe you want to cut other shapes (sailboats? flowers?).  Or maybe just blobs that you'll decorate whimsically.  And so, I offer a recipe that is beloved by many--it's even won a local contest at a recent cookie swap!  It's quick and easy--you can roll the dough thick or thin or just press it flattish.

Sugar Cookies

2 sticks butter
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
¼ C. milk
2tsp. baking powder
4 C. flour
2 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter, sugar, eggs. Add milk and dry ingredients. Roll out to ¼ inch thickness on a floured board and cut with cookie cutters. Sprinkle with colored sugar or leave plain to frost when cool (or to enjoy plain). Bake 10 minutes at 375. Easy frosting: moisten powdered sugar with enough milk to make spreadable and tint with food color.


Kathleen said...

Thanks for the sweet recipe. The Sunday School kids made sugar cookies and peanut butter drops for a bake sale to raise money for a local mission donation, so I saw lots of sweetness yesterday.

Also, I loved reading your poem "Horarium" in the new Poetry East. The document shredding in it sent me back to your book. Was it at one time a part of that manuscript?

Hannah Stephenson said...

Yum. I am craving cookie baking--thanks for this :).

I agree that creativity (the urge to make) can help when we see destruction.

Kristin said...

Kathleen--thanks for your kind words about my poem. I'm so happy that our poems are in the same journal again! "Horarium" was never part of my 2nd chapbook manuscript, but was written at the same time. I had a vision of a larger manuscript that had more overtly religious poems/themes in it, but have yet to assemble it.

Hannah--may all your cookies satisfy your cravings!