Monday, May 08, 2006

Three Little Words

Words are possibly the most powerful of all ammunition in the human nelson. They have the power to raise spirits, to elevate expectations, to inspire love, to create a whirlwind of desire and yet conversely they also have the ability to prick one's bubbling joy, to wound, to harm and to instill deep sadness.

Extraordinarily the same words in the English language can create entirely different emotions when used in differing contexts. Within the space of two days, the words "I miss you" were uttered to me. The first was a sign of warmth, of a burgeoning friendship borne from a love, shared interest in and passion for food. I felt honoured and full of joy to be lucky enough to have been missed.

The second however made me feel wretched, deeply saddened, momentarily angry and ashamed. Ashamed that this wonderful person's deep love for me had caused them pain; that I had neglected them in what can I can only think is a strange bid for independence. And yet ultimately I feel incredibly fortunate to be so cherished.

And yet how interesting that three little words created such a maelstrom of emotions. I am left wondering if this is why I sometimes choose to express love and affection through cooking. Why I would rather bake a cake or cook a meal than risk my words being heard with a different meaning than which they were offered. Surely it is difficult to misinterpret the whipping up of a meringue; hard to be upset by the smell of a casserole as it develops in the oven; difficult to be angered by biting into one's favourite lemon cake?

The language of food. A dictionary with a limited subtext and one of which I am increasingly fond.


Peter Newman-Legros said...

Very powerful. So true. Your piece is beautifully descriptive and touching. Can't help wondering what a nelson is though.... XXX

CB said...

Thank you sweetheart. You have such a generous spirit.

Perhaps I meant an arsenal?! Yet another malopropism to add to the list!

Peter Newman-Legros said...

I think you do mean something like arsenal! A nelson is a wrestling hold...