The Reliability of Pancakes

I’ve made pancakes approximately once a week for the past six weeks. I’m leaning on what’s easy right now. I’ve made a few new things—shakshuka, a friend’s lentil soup—but the recipes don’t feel ambitious like they used to.

There is too much I don’t know right now. To cope with the uncertainty, I’ve tried giving myself smaller projects. I wrote a rap last month. I scored my first byline. I’m playing with the idea of buying a midi keyboard and making music again. All the same, I couldn't tell you the last time I made a pie, a project I've leaned on since 2013. It seems, beyond pancakes, old habits are failing me.

I used to find comfort in Billy Collins poems. The neatness of his verse always made me feel whole, but now it mocks me and my disarray. Now I am reading “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver aloud in the bath over and over again. I need her words to wash over me, to cleanse, to reassure. Maybe that’s why I’m eating pancakes every week. They are sure. They are predictable. They are unassuming. They will be there for me whenever I need them and that is enough for me. 

I just need to know that it or they or you will be there because I will be there, too. Capacity and form and place unknown, but I will be and I could always make pancakes.