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Make A Cake

I love podcasts. Even before our time of confinement I was enjoying them on my long, cross-country drives. I've even been planning to start one myself, although that's on hold for now. Recently I've been listening to different ones while outside on my daily walks. Not only am I grateful to be able to be out in the fresh air, but I also really enjoy most of what I hear on whatever program I've plugged into.

A few days ago I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts -- Oprah -- and I heard Common rapping his song Good Morning Love. One line in particular jumped out at me and I felt moved to make it the Monday Quote this week:

"Many many times from mistakes I ran

But I'm just a cake, let me bake, goddamn."

It felt whimsical and deeply meaningful at the same time. My comment, which turned out to come across as somewhat humorous, was:

"It makes me wonder, is it a package mix or from scratch?"

Now, as I reread what I posted, I can see it was kind of amusing, but I was having some serious thoughts about its significance, too. (In full transparency here, I must admit that thinking about cake fits right in with the extra eating I've contemplated during this "sheltering in place"! I apologize if it triggers new cravings for anyone.)

If we think about ourselves as a cake, it brings up a lot of different comparisons. At birth, we might be a bit of the premade and premeasured variety. We arrive with a certain amount of predetermined ingredients. Almost immediately, though, we start to blend in other components. As we get older, we might decide to take out certain items that don't quite make for the flavor that we're going for or we might double up on a particular "seasoning". We can play around with becoming lighter or more dense. At some point, we are ready to oven-test our concoction and as Common says, "let me bake".

Fortunately, if the temperature is too hot or too cool (feeling half-baked?) or if we keep it in the oven (of life, as in get stuck) for too long, we can pull out our bowls, start all over, and mix up a new batter. Sometimes I feel like I've baked into a beautiful cake, but one that didn't taste very good or just didn't have much taste at all. Other times I've felt like a really flavorful and delectable confection, but I look a little lopsided or messy.

Lately, with the many emotions I've experienced on a daily (hourly!) basis, I've started asking myself, "What kind of cake are you now?". Not only is it another way to get in touch with my feelings, but it also adds a playful element to the observation. Sometimes I feel like a poundcake, especially if I find myself snacking all afternoon. At first it might be that I just feel "heavy", however if I take it further and think about the other qualities of a good, well-made poundcake, I can start feeling rich and compact and satisfying in my simplicity.

Or, I might feel like a carrot or spice cake -- full of so many flavors and textures with a smooth, tasteful outer layer covering a surprising center. Are you getting the hang of this? Let's try one more .... what would a Birthday Cake be like? Beautiful, fancy, highly decorated on the outside and solid, yummy, and basic on the inside or whatever you feel or imagine.

Personally, I've always been intrigued and drawn to cupcakes (as I think I've mentioned before)! I love the way they look, especially when they've been embellished with sprinkles and sparkles (of course) and I love the surprise of their inside. It also appeals to me to be able to have several and all different ones -- clearly I'm a fan of variety!

What kind of cake would you be if you had to tell me right now? Would it be a Red Velvet, Angel or Devil's Food, a fruitcake, spongecake, cheesecake or maybe even a pancake (not really a "cake", but sometimes, don't you just feel flat)/?!?

Whatever you mix up for the day or even an hour or two, I recommend you give it a try, let it bake and see how it comes out. You can always pull out your supplies and start all over if it doesn't come out quite right. Ask yourself first thing in the morning, "What kind of cake am I today" or even, "What kind of cake do I want to be today?". Have fun with it like I had fun with this metaphor -- this is what I wish for you.

Sparkles and Love,

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About the Author




Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

is a sassy Queen-ager whose mission is to co-create a happier, healthier life with and for others.

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