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Sunday, May 9, 2010

"If You Come Back to the Barre..."

"If you come back to the barre, you'll always be home." Or something like that. It's from a really, really bad ballet movie, "Center Stage," one of Zoe Saldana's first roles. (Yep, before that other really, really bad movie with Britney Spears.) It's the story of the American Ballet Theater School in NYC, and the struggles and triumphs of the first year of students. Blah blah blah...the acting is awful, the writing horrendous, but the dancing is enough to make you watch every single time it's on WE. And one of the lines, when Zoe's character is struggling to "get good enough," her teacher takes her aside and tells her that as long as she remembers to always come back to the barre, to class, yada yada, she will always feel like she's home. (Cheesy, yes, I know.)

That's how I just felt, moments ago. I hadn't planned on writing this today, though I've been incredibly spotty about posting this week. I was going to post something I wrote something over the weekend about the joys of tuna fish (which I'll share some other day.) But I just had a "come back to the barre" moment, in my kitchen, wooden spoon in hand, standing over my large All-Clad sauce pot. 

I've had a really long, really exhausting week, both physically and mentally. No need to share the details, just a lot of work and a little play.  My back is wrecked, my head is pounding, and I'm quite certain I no longer fit into my jeans.  My house is a total mess, and I literally have not cooked for my husband in days. And it's not just me. J has had a very similarly trying week. And so I (probably stupidly) promised to cook him his favorite meal tonight, while he continues working..."Nanny's meatballs and sauce." 

It's not the recipe I'm sharing, mainly because I can't. It's someone else's secret family recipe that was shared with me in the throws of some serious pinky swearing. But this has nothing to do with the actual recipe. It has to do with me, dragging my ass downstairs after trying hard to unpack (and failing miserably by passing out into a quick nap) and starting to cook. I emptied the dish drain, made sure the ingredients were out, and started chopping. I heated the olive oil, chopped the onions and garlic, ripped off some get the picture. And all of a sudden, the stress and exhaustion and all other not so fun emotions starting seeming kind of far away and less important. I literally started stirring it away, so to speak. Or at least stirring it into somewhere far enough away to allow me to get through it enough to continue on with the day.

I found my "barre" at the bottom of a pot of Nanny's sauce. What's your "ballet barre" place? The place where all of a sudden, when you least expect it, has you calm, serene, and feeling like a (slightly messy, no-makeup, maybe better off in sweatpants) new person.


  1. Sadly I need a rehearsal room and a whole bumch of other people. Or a pot of turkey chili.

  2. Hey, stop making fun of that movie, it's great!
    I really love shopping for veggies when I'm stressed. The hope of buying something good for me, making something beautiful, grapefuits especially. When I need to reset, my barre is going for a walk to this tiny store in my 'hood, getting a whole chiken, some potatoes and broccoli. Roast, boil, smash, steam, season, satisfaction.