I did not exactly plan to be absent from this space for as long as I have been, but trying to wrap my brain and words around the various experiences of these past three weeks has been next to impossible while still basking in the glow of it all.
-One week of dance in France.
-One week of exploration in Montreal.
-Completing the first week of intensive yoga teacher training at home in Minneapolis.
How do I take it all in?
I think there are phases of our lives that are meant for certain things. Resting periods, periods of high energy and productivity, periods of sharing what we know and periods of pure consumption. For me this summer is just consuming, consuming and consuming even more. I don’t mean material consumption (even though I have been eating some pretty fabulous food lately), but consumption of knowledge- body and mind. There will come a point when it is ready to be shared in a cleaner, more developed form, but right now everything feels raw. Pure and raw and overwhelming in the best sense of the word. I am a little bit all over the place and at the same time, completely centered and exactly where I think I need to be.
Back before this month of reading nothing but yoga and meditation books all day long, I completed Mary Oliver’s newest collection of prose essays called Upstream where in one section, she writes about creating a small shed outside of her home-
“Building my house, or anything else, I always felt myself becoming, in an almost devotional sense, passive, and willing to play. Play is never far from the impress of the creative drive, never far from the happiness of discovery. Building my house, I was joyous all day long.”
Metaphorically speaking, this is exactly what I feel like I have been doing these past couple weeks. I have been building my own inner house. A home inside of myself built of art, community, words, choreography, yoga poses and images.
Creativity- build it and it will come.
However, before you invite people into your home, the structure has to be standing. You wouldn’t really invite friends over to delight with you in an unfinished or unstable house. So for now, I am just over here playing and putting sticks together and once it is built into something structurally sound and (hopefully) beautiful, I will welcome you in and share some of the little corners inside. In fact, for later this week I am already trying to gather up the scattered shimmering bits of inspiration from that first dance intensive in Véretz, France, so get ready to see the first room in my new inner home.
The one thing, however, that always should be shared immediately is cake. No one I know waits to enjoy a perfectly baked cake. After being on the road for two weeks without an accessible kitchen, one of the first things I did upon returning to Minneapolis was whip out the baking supplies and make this lovely little summery almond cake, recipe courtesy of my friend Amanda over at Heartbeet Kitchen. She made this apple berry buckle cake that I have been lusting over for a while, so I decided to recreate it with a hint of cardamom and the two fruits that I happened to have on hand- fresh + juicy peaches and succulent blackberries. It is a simple dessert to build quickly, but the rustic flavors of almond + quinoa flour, hints of spices, and juicy fresh fruits make it deep, structurally sound, and a pure joy to eat with some whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream on the side.
Peach Blackberry Almond Cake
Gluten-free, refined sugar free
Makes one 8-9" round cake, recipe just slightly adapted from Amanda's Berry Apple Buckle Cake
- 120g almond flour
- 50g quinoa flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 fresh peach, sliced
- 1 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen
Preheat your oven to 350º and line the bottom of an 8 or 9" round pan with parchment paper, greasing the edges with oil or butter. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, cinnamon, cardamom, baking powder and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs with the honey and coconut sugar, then add in your coconut milk (shake the can before pouring- it should be thick!), lemon juice and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until fully combined. Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan and decorate the top with peach slices and blackberries. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges turn golden brown. Serve alone or with whipped cream or ice cream.