There are times when I find myself mulling the future over in my mind. The term mulling suggests the combination of subtle spices and citrus, careful lacing with fiery spirit and the infusing of flavours with warming wine - and thus a careful cogitation that balances pros and cons, the different properties of a situation complementing to form a harmonious whole.
In my case however, mulling invariably take the form of an avalanche of thought; single conjectures are coated with hypotheticals and wrapped within what ifs and worst case scenarios. As the possibilities quickly multiply the speed and size of thoughts grow and gather specks of previous mullings - residue of mental explorations that have stuck to the bottom of the pan as the heat has become too much, but now, dried out, the burnt scabs work their ways into a new speculation.
This then is my bubble and squeak approach to paranoia - put all my anxieties, failings and worries into a pan over a high heat and leave until, flavoured with a gravy of guilt and a splash of frustration sauce, a crust forms where all the negativity as congealed. The irony is, as with the dish, that this crust is where the flavour lies - at the intersection of the fat, the heat and the mix of ingredients. So with me the interest lies in my capacity to extend on imagination, to take a strand and allow myself the capacity to tease out the potential in an image, a situation or even the philosophy of left overs.
The fact is though each ingredient of bubble and squeak has undergone many processes in themselves:- the potatoes boiled, shaken and crisped in goose fat then flavoured with rosemary and garlic; parsnips coated in honey and chilli jam and specked with cranberries; sprouts shredded, fried with bacon and roasted chestnuts; and the turkey brined, basted and scented with satsumas, lemons and herbs. Each element is specific to itself and to combine them makes for a dish that can be enjoyed really only once a year because of the opportunity and the richness of the dish.
In putting all my thoughts together I merely increase the intensity of preoccupation. I lose context. I forget the now - both it's opportunities and its enjoyment. This is why I stop to note the process, to see myself in the situation I have made for myself and not just the situation I find myself in - for though I may be culpable I am also the cartographer of my way forward.
Now, what shall we call this valley - with all its danger and beauty?