(by Alice Olsen)
Making soul soup:
Build a container,
wide enough to hold life's many memories,
deep enough to fill full with feelings,
strong enough to stand the heat,
weak enough to let it in.
The chef must watch as ingredients are added, one by one.
a bit of sweet love here,
a chunk of bitter anger there,
pain, fear, joy, awe, and exultation.
Let the chef stir with a steady hand as the stew slowly boils,
not too hot, not too cool,
watching each ingredient so none burn, so all blend,
so none escape, lost in the steam of cooking.
Flavor the soup with the spices of life;
and tender caring.
Stir and boil.
Stir and boil,
Cooking it all down to the purest, finest essence,
to a fundamental goodness.
Then dish and eat,
swallowing, savoring the richness of life.