It was a sad week.
Last week was one of those weeks where all manner of sad things seem to collide on your doorstep in one big puddle of sorrow.
It started off with a bang and a rager of a party here at the old farmstead, to celebrate the farm's 10-year anniversary. So much dancing, so much fun.
Then after a night of feasting and dancing, after everyone had scattered and gone their separate ways, I found myself all alone in this big old farm house, staring at my computer screen in the dark, facing the sudden news that on the other side of the country, a dear friend had passed away. A friend who was too young to die. And whose indescribable passion and love of life touched so many people's hearts, all of us suddenly struggling to make sense of his unexpected departure.
So I've been feeling rather raw and tender all week, like my heart has got a big gaping widening crack down its side. But as Sasha was fond of pointing out, the thing about cracks in the heart is that they let everything in. They let the sorrow in, but they let all kinds of other good stuff in too. And I'm so grateful to have crossed paths with someone who had the courage to embrace the full palate of emotions that life presents us with: the delights, the fears, the laughter, the grief. It's all part of this adventure.
One of his close friends worded it so well:
Sasha lived with outrageous authenticity. He did things because he wanted to find out what would happen if he tried. He wasn’t concerned about making mistakes or the discomfort of others – if it was something fun, or loving or freeing, he wouldn’t hesitate to charge at it!
In his passing, I feel he is asking of each of us to really feel our creative desires, to feel what makes us come alive and to stop allowing ourselves to accept anything less than a rich and exciting and creative and deeply meaningful life.As he did in his life, Sasha continues to inspire me to live more fully, to have more fun, and to feel more deeply. Rest in peace Sasha, and safe journey to the stars my friend.
And what the heck does all this have to do with pistachio cardamom cookies? I don't have a clue. But I made these. In spite of, or maybe because of, my achy heart. And they were good. So damn good I ate half the pan in one sitting while listening to that song up there over and over again. I had to give the last half of the batch to my neighbours for fear I would gobble up the whole panful.
Actually, I had set off to make my grandmother's whipped shortbread, but the pistachios were sitting there and all I had in the house was spelt flour. So these are what happened instead. One of those fortuitous baking accidents. I like to think there was a little bit of Sasha magic in them.
The recipe can be found on my post at PBS Food. Now please tell me, what marvellous cookies are on your holiday rotation this year?