The Eternal Significance of Lemon Drizzle Cake
I’ve slipped into an internal vicious monologue loop and it’s all T.S. Eliot’s fault. Or Amor Towles’s fault. Or Walker Evans’s fault. Or an infinite number of people’s fault. Or, more likely, the result of innumerable variables that one day became empirical fact and, random as it may seem: that’s the state I am in.
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
I think, atomically speaking, that matter matters. I made the claim that everything matters. I think it matters where the atoms are – and therefore every action not only has an equal and opposite reaction; it also has eternal significance – even if that significance is lost on humans, some humans or all but one human.
I claimed that – the fact that I had eaten lemon drizzle cake just moments before would reverberate down the future in its own seemingly inconsequential way but would be eternally a factor in that future and was therefore significant.
Not everyone clamoured in agreement 😉
This morning, we were running a little late and I sent my son off to school on his own so that he would not run the risk of being late – and I would work on getting the little girls ready. Off we went.
Once back home, it flitted across my mind, as it always did: what if he never made it? What if he was abducted? Hurt? On a bus into town?
Then, against my will – I started to draw it back to the lemon drizzle cake. Not in an attaching of blame way. Just in a domino way. Or a butterfly effect way.
We had been running late. It was snowing, which meant that there was more to “getting ready” than your average morning. I had also overslept a bit. I overslept because I stayed up a little later than usual – to watch two back episodes of Masterchef, which I had learned, the previous evening, had restarted. This was a surprise because I have my TV set to record it – or so I thought. Apparently I don’t.
Now – why were we talking about Masterchef? I can’t remember. But there were a few people talking about Masterchef; they liked the show, enjoyed cooking, had interesting things to say about the judges, the style of the show etc.
I can’t remember how we got on to it, but we had talked a lot about food: how to make a pavlova; Delia versus Nigella… and I suspect that this baking talk was brought about in no small measure as a result of the completely brilliant lemon drizzle cake that had been baked and served and that I had eaten.
Maybe the time taken to eat the cake was the few minutes late I was running in the morning. Maybe if I hadn’t eaten the cake, I wouldn’t have been in the mood to watch back to back episodes of Masterchef into the wee small hours. Maybe….
Equally, though it may have been the snow’s fault. It may have been my failure to set an alarm. It may have been…
The way things are are the result of the things that were. In this case, a lemon drizzle cake, should I choose to impose the narrative on the cake the way I have.
Although it has to be said – he did make it to school absolutely fine and on time despite me having eaten the lemon drizzle cake.
That’s my TS Eliot loop. I am also in Robert Frost loop – seeing – when I half-shut the eyes in my imagination – all the infinite roads not taken shooting off in a web of non-existent parallel universes – leaving me with the sense that it is a miracle that anything happens at all, given how few things actually happen – when you consider all the things that haven’t happened – all the omissions, all the places you didn’t go when you went where you did; all the people you didn’t meet when you were meeting the ones you did; all the conversations you didn’t have when you were having the ones you did; the apple and pecan muffin you didn’t eat when you plumped for the lemon drizzle cake…