A Time For Every Purpose

I like to wash the dishes late at night after everyone has gone to bed. Occasionally I hear a gruffle in the darkness outside my kitchen window. And when later I fall asleep, I dream of possums chasing each other up and down Jacaranda trees. In the morning, as the kettle whistles, I admire the shiny clean sculpture on the dish rack.

I like to write at dusk with the Currawongs gathered in choirs along the branches of my neighbour’s scribbly gum. Their curlicue calls symphony with the chatter of parrots on the wires, while below them the local cats wait for dinner.  Surrounded by night approaching, the sky and the birds are squawking, and fading pink. That’s when, with a glass of red wine beside me and the day behind me, the vegetables peeled and the roast in the oven, time is corralled; and ideas appear on the page, landing softly with invisible paws.

And I like to take my daily walk at noon.  In these first days of November I circle the meditative loop of Centennial Park under the midday sun and time and place melt away as the heat begins to strike.

I’m prepared. I’ve smeared my arms and legs with sun block. I’ve turned up my collar and pulled on my hat.  I am determined to enjoy this slow sauna while I think about what to make for dinner. But it’s hotter than I expected, and by the time I reach the first bubbler at the quarter mile, I feel like the chicken that I’ve been imagining roasting in the oven.

I’ve been basted with olive oil, an aroma of rosemary and garlic emanates from my pores, and my white socks remind me of those frilly little paper chef hats that my mother used to put on the chicken legs to cover their knobby knees.

After forty minutes on the rotisserie I collapse in the shade of a Moreton Bay Fig. I rest for about twenty minutes or until my skin loses its pink hue. It’s important at this stage not to hurry. I meditate on the lost art of patience.

This I’ve found is the most difficult part of any roast: waiting while the meat rests. It’s so tempting to carve it then and there, and wolf it down over the sink. But although there is delight in raw abandon I prefer the sustaining pleasure of savouring time.

You take the chicken out of the oven, place it on a rack and cover it with foil. That’s when you make the gravy from those precious brown juices that have gathered at the bottom of the roasting pan. And by the time you set the table and refill that glass of wine you’ve no doubt been drinking, the bird is ready to be pulled apart, hopefully in the company of friends; it’s soft, tender flesh literally falling off the bone.

About sagesomethymes

Daniela is a writer, theatre producer and civic educator. She has had poetry and short stories published in 'Prayers of a Secular World', Inkerman & Blunt; 'Blue Crow Magazine', Blue Crow Press; 'Knitting and other stories', Margaret River Press and Radio National’s '360 documentaries'. Her debut play, 'Talc', was produced in 2010. Her short play, 'Sicilian Biscotti', was produced for the launch of “Women Power and Culture” at New Theatre in 2011 and shortlisted for the Lane Cove Literary Award in 2015. Her second full length play, 'Friday', was produced by SITCO at the Old Fitzroy Theatre in 2013. 'The Poor Kitchen' was produced in 2016 as part of the Old 505 Theatre’s Fresh Works Season and was published by the Australian Script Centre in 2017 (https://australianplays.org/script/ASC-1836). She co-wrote 'Shut Up And Drive' with Paul Gilchrist and it was produced at KXT in 2016. In 2019, her new play, 'Seed Bomb' was produced at Old 505 Theatre as part of the FreshWorks Season. She is the co-founder of indie theatre company subtlenuance (www.subtlenuance.com) Her published short stories can be read via the Short Stories tab on this blog.
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