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Does the World Break? Or Fold?

Spring was here, but I remained too passive. I felt it in my eyes that were tired only from staring at whatever Netflix said was 'for me'. My finger would tap and then my brain would forget. I needed to feel something in a five senses way. A physical book could be a start. The lightness of the pages. The heaviness of them all tied together in story. I searched through 'my list' until I had matched a series, Shadow and Bone, with a book.


After I started reading, I realized that I had written the same kind of story, except that in her Grisha series, Leigh Bardugo* chose to 'fold' the world, and I had elected to 'break' it. Still, an interesting question. Does the world break? Or fold?


When I need to reflect, I require space and a new recipe. I chose macarons, a fragile cookie capable of both breaking and folding. To limit my new ingredients, I selected an apple pie version*. Does the world break? Or fold? My response to this question came out in poetry.


--


Does the World Break? Or Fold?


Ripped. Pulled. Turned.

Bodies can do both.

Bone and muscle.

Connection. Pain. Impact.

Bodies cause both.


Does the? Could the. . .

World break.

Or fold.


Like pages

Like stories


An answer.

Or,

An ending

To my question.


Does the? Could the. . .

World break.

Or fold.


Like hands

Like tongues


Conserve. Save.

When mixed with water,

Or denied it,

Flour and dirt

Remember.

Scar.


Guard. Keep.

Different words

Mean different ways

Of saving.


Crumpled paper

Guards.

Keeps its lines as

Deeply

As stone.


Bodies can do both.

Bodies cause both.


Still, I’m tired

Of nothing

Of being tired

From nothing.

Lured by

Black ink

Burned edges


I remove the Netflix series* from my list.

Muscles stretch over a light touch of pages

I check off ingredients* instead.

Bones brace against the rounded edge of mixing bowls


Powders and liquids.

Earth and water.

Changes. Endings.


From effort

Scraping. Shaping. Beating.


Too dry

Too wet


My world cracks.

Simple

Not done simply


Enough

Not enough


My world sinks inward

Simple

Simply not done


Nothing

In stone.


Does it break?

Perhaps not right away.

But, odds are it will

Unless


My fingertips brush the baked cookie edges.

Each half. One half.

Both halves should match,

Still, always a lesser for the bottom.


My eyes cleave to instructions,

And then, optional notes

A list as long as the recipe itself,

Fillings


Does the world break or fold?

Maybe the answer to my question

Is my own question.

What can I add?

between


The cracks

That break,

The wrinkles

That fold.


Air in the before

Chocolate in the after

Repair from within.


I spread. I smooth. I press,

Ingredients.

Centers.

Fillings.


My world breaks again.


Ripped. Pulled. Turned.

Bodies can do both.

Bone and muscle.

Connection. Pain. Impact.

Bodies cause both.


I taste.

Only sweet.


Does the? Could the. . .

World break.

Or fold.


Yes.


--


Does the world break? Or fold? I connected Bardugo's fiction, the idea of the world breaking or folding, first to the phrase, tikun olam. During the time I spent baking and reflecting, the verb 'to repair', letaken, had reappeared in conversation practice. I looked it up. I learned it again. Except, this time I did not learn the action in isolation, because it intersected with the worldview tikun olam, positive world impact.


It is not uncommon to learn and forget, remember and forget to remember words while learning a language. What struck me by the end of this poem, was the ease at which I, and we, parrot generally accepted phrases or collective action and consistently forget to remember our own individual opportunities in small choices. The macaron recipe is a tangible metaphor to examine this disconnect.


Does the world break or fold? In my novel and Bardugo's series, in the macaron recipe, in real life, the answer is 'yes'. Always. In big and small ways. Sometimes I am the cause. Does the world break or fold? It is an interesting question, a visceral question, but not near as important a question, as 'what happens next?'

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