When in need of a pick me up - chocolate and hazelnut cake with a scatter of fresh berries just for the beauty of it
Some days are better than others, right? And it is perfectly normal and ok to sometimes feel like we carry the weight of the world. It's perfectly alright to sometimes feel like we're the biggest failure walking the earth, and that nothing you do is ever going to be good enough, let alone good at all. It's perfectly alright to sometimes look at our work and think it sucks and feel that there's no quality to it, nor reason to pursue it. It's perfectly alright to sometimes simply want to let it all go and give up on the things that usually make us so glad and happy. At least I think it is perfectly alright to go through this once in a while, these bad days make me appreciate the good ones, the very good ones so much more. I find myself sighing for joy most of the time, grateful to be able to live this life I lead, the way I get to do it, so I find that it's perfectly alright to sometimes feel like I am not living it to the fullest nor doing it any justice with my (non existent) accomplishments.
Because I know those feelings are temporary, right? At least, whenever I'm having one of those days, I tell myself that it's ok to feel that way, but it's only temporary and it will be gone by the next day, or the other. Sometimes it takes me longer than that, it takes me a whole lot longer than that to get back on the right track of mind and believe in myself once again. Sometimes, when I'm confronted with other people's problems and struggles, with the news of what keeps happening around the world, I get thrown down and feel like I don't even want to get up again. I let it hit me hard, and find myself wondering why on earth should I even try? Is it worth it, any of it? The way the world is going, the way people behave towards each other, what's the point of struggling and working hard and never seeing any results? Why not simply forget the whole darn thing and just hide away? Sometimes when I hear nothing but accounts of pain and suffering, some very real, some figments of delusional imaginations, some just vain and selfish attempts of calling attention to certain selves, I feel like I cannot take anymore of that and I beg for silence and the bliss of not knowing. I beg for solitude.
One of the many things I'm still struggling with learning is how to protect myself from other people, so I can be around people. How to shield myself in such a way that I don't get thrown - literally? - under a bus with other people's problems and actions and misery and suffering. It seems that I absorb it all in, and then, suddenly one day it will all hit me so hard I'm left hopeless and despaired and beyond sad and depressed. I need to learn how to shield myself from that even harder and better, especially from those people who tend to see me as the recipient for their misery and their jealousy and their dislike for my happiness and well being. Sadly, I tend to have some of these a bit too close to home, the kind of close you cannot really push them away. So I must learn how I can protect myself from their negative energies towards me and my joy. I must learn how to deal with their problems without making them my own, with their envy without letting it sap my energy, with their need for being the centre of attention without letting myself disappear. But I don't know how to do it, really. I manage to keep it all at bay foras long as I can, but then one day it will hit me, and pull me under a wave of near despair.
One of the ways I found to cope with this, and with my bouts of "depression" is to focus on the beauty of nature, actually. I may find myself gazing out my window towards the river, seeing the trees, so lush and green, the blue skies, the changing light throughout the day. The perfect shape of a blueberry and the starlike quality of a strawberry stem. That paragraph I wrote and that rang so true and so well with me, those heartfelt lines that sounded beautiful, that cake that was moist and sweet and fragrant, the pictures that seemed to have been made by someone else, someone a lot more talented and artistic. I focus on the ideas that are still going around my head, for new ventures, new discoveries, new things I wish to try, and I think small. I think really small. It clears my head, not wishing for the world but only for a tiny little space in it. I think of myself as a small grain inside the big universe, and I tell myself that in the big scheme of things, I'm not all that important after all. So I look to those who I really matter to me, and just thinking of my son seems to bring such joy to my soul, I forget all the rest. And I think of my husband and the small gestures of love he renders me, such as remembering to take off the label from the back side of the jar but keep the one in the front, or when he goes and bakes a cake like this one, that was so delicious and full of love!
This cake was his own invention and it was one of the best I have bitten into lately. I wanted to keep the styling simple, in order to let the cake per se shine through, but I'm not so sure I managed to, not when I decided to add these beautifully fresh fruit that seemed to steall all the show!! Still, here's the recipe so you can try it:
- 225 gr light muscovado sugar
- 225 gr flour
- 200 gr butter, room temperature
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 20 ml walnut oil
- 1 tsp coffee
- 1 tsp brandy
- 100 gr hazelnut flour