If you haven’t seen this, I talk about nearly everything in the kitchen sink here with Deesha Philyaw. An interview with me is up on The Rumpus!
Visibility is a negotiation.
When I spend an hour cutting vegetables so they can be cooked, and the oil splatters on my skin, and the air is sucked between my teeth in surprise and pain. These plants and herbs, heaped alongside the rest of the meal that, at times, required me to multitask—glancing at a computer screen propped in the counter corner for a piece of writing that I’m editing, yell-telling pint size Rosie to stop pulling down my shorts, and itching my chin with my shoulder. These mundane everyday, forgotten tomorrow tasks? They take my labor. Time I’m not sure I have as I age. And control. I have to control the urge to flee the kitchen and do a hundred other things.
So when I watch the little lips of my children close over the spoon holding those vegetables, or the luscious thick lips of the father of my children and my life partner wrinkle a napkin as it meets his shiny mouth, the last traces of asparagus gone—I stare at the three of them, waiting for them to see me in the food. I wait for the connection in their neurons, to comprehend what I started in this transaction: that this is one way I love them: knifing vegetables so they can live.
I wait for that visibility until the vegetables go cold on my plate. I wait for the visibility to make itself known.