Friday Musings: Shapeshifter
I’ve noticed lately that I seem to spend lots of time wrestling with the truth. In fact, my New Year’s resolution involved me choosing to believe in daydreams instead of accepting things at face value. I justified it by telling myself that I was keeping my heart open and trusting in the universe. Bad move. The universe had other plans. “You’re going down,” it said. “And here’s a nice flower pot to break your fall.” But I digress. That was last week’s post. I think that many of us ponder the truth on a daily basis, whether we realize it or not. It even finds its way into our conversations in certain expressions that we adopt as our favorites. I have a habit of saying things like, “Truth be told, those pants don’t fit you.” Or, “If you want to know the truth, I’m not crazy about Mexican food.” I’m always starting off sentences with the words honestly or truthfully and I notice that other people do it as well. My middle son uses the expression “quite frankly,” especially, when he’s angry, and my youngest often replies to my text messages with the word “preach,” the idiomatic definition of which is “a word said in agreement with something that it is real or absolute.” Despite the fact that we spend the amount of time that we do considering the truth, many of us have trouble confronting it. I’m not judging; I am the queen of wishful thinking. It’s led me to wonder why we practice the avoidance behaviors that we do.
I think that the non-confrontational attitude we sometimes take towards the truth occurs in degrees. There are the little things that we see every day, but we ignore them. They can be put off for the moment and so that’s exactly what we do. If we do it long enough, in fact, we won’t even see them anymore. The front door needs painting, but we’ll get to it this weekend. After a month or so, we stop seeing the chips in the paint or the fact that it’s totally faded from its original color. It starts looking normal to us. It becomes the new version of the truth. A chipped or faded front door is really not that big of a deal, but what happens when we apply this same type of avoidance to more serious things like relationships or jobs or children? The answer is that sometimes the results can be painful or difficult or catastrophic. Quite often the signs are all right in front of us, as is the nagging feeling in our guts that goes along with them. Yet we continue to look the other way. Why? It’s really not that hard to understand. The truth is intricately tied to our perception of reality, and if we haven’t been facing it and suddenly start to, then that reality will shift and rock our entire world. Maybe we’ve been led to believe that a person loved us when they really didn’t. Or maybe we’ve been lulled into a false sense of security at our jobs. Or maybe we’re struggling with the thought that one of our children could be in some sort of serious trouble. No matter what the scenario, we may have turned our heads because we weren’t been ready to accept what our guts already sensed, and what our hearts already knew. But the truth will make itself known, one way or another. And if that doesn’t work, then the universe will deliver a wake-up call, and the days of avoiding what we’ve known all along will come to an end.
For today’s cocktail, I decided to go with a riff on the classic Aviation. I chose vodka instead of gin because it is the ultimate shapeshifter. It always takes on the identity and truth of the other ingredients with which it’s paired. I kept the traditional Crème de Violette and lemon juice in the drink, swapped out the maraschino liqueur for a vanilla simple syrup, and added a dash of lavender bitters and an egg white. The end result was a layered cocktail that unfolded one flavor at a time. It reminded me of uncovering the truth, and the way in which that process can be sweet, sour, and bitter all at the same time. Cheers everyone. Happy Friday.
2 oz Stateside vodka
½ oz Giffard Crème de Violette
½ oz fresh lemon juice
¼ oz vanilla simple syrup*
1 dash Jack Rudy lavender bitters
1 egg white
Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker without ice and dry shake for as long as you can. Add the ice and shake some more. Pour into a martini glass over a brandied cherry. Enjoy!
*Make a regular 2:1 simple syrup. Add a split vanilla bean and allow to steep until cool.