Monday, October 17, 2005

Banana cake, aneurysms, and sweet-sad memories

Made banana cake yesterday from scratch. Used to make it all the time because bananas have a way of going brown quickly in our house. In a way I didn't quite understand at the time, the sweet scent wafting through the house reminded me of family and laughter and simpler times, maybe because the last time I made this particular cake was before E's aneurysm in 2001.

While sampling a piece still warm from the oven, I thought how odd that something so sweet can taste so sad as well. Then I remembered the Littmus Lozenges from Kate DiCamillo's book Because of Winn-Dixie. Their effect on the characters of Kate's story is so powerful and poignant that I suspect she drew on her own sweet-sad memories to develop the concept. Hmmm. Whatever she did it's working.

Edited to add: Worth thinking about more...the connectedness of our experiences to our writing, and the power that connectedness can bring to our prose. If we're willing to open ourselves to the emotions.

1 comment:

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

My husband and I seem to write about food a lot--everything from the green bean casserole in Rain Is Not My Indian Name to the sushi kielbasa in Tofu and T. Rex. It's so sensory--tied to taste and smell. Ever notice how eating with your hands can be more sensual (especially if someone else is involved). It's good to notice these sorts of dynamics--good for the writing and the writer's heart as well.