I’ve been struggling lately with failure. It’s something I don’t like to talk about–I mean, who does? Who wants to openly admit that they’ve failed at something? Take these plum clafoutis for example. I couldn’t resist the golden plums glimmering in the early morning sun at market this past Saturday. They called out to me. Every inch of their soft, supple, sunshine skin called “ravish me.” So I bought a bagful. And I dreamed of clafoutis. And even though I’m not a vegan and I eat eggs all the time, even though I had no real reason beyond this blog to attempt to make a vegan clafoutis, I did. And godalmighty it was a bust. Something like an overly burnt pudding studded with plums.


I failed.

Who likes to say it? I know I didn’t.

A clafoutis is nothing–just some tofu & sugar & plums–but the rest of my life…right. Every day I feel too young to have to deal with consequences but then I realize, shit, I’m a quarter-century old. If not now, when? When will I buck up and say “I built this castle, sand or stone,” how long to I forgive, move on?

I know I’m speaking in generalities, but the specifics aren’t all that interesting. I’m just learning the salt in regret–the way it seasons and stings.

So I’ll center on tonight–some weird puddinged clafoutis, a glass of local wine, and the stars shining out through an oddly cool July evening. The beauty of failure is that I can pick up and move forward, learn to enjoy life for what it is right now. Right now. And godhelpme if I can’t figure out that small, shining bit.

7 Responses to “Failure”
  1. LazySmurf says:

    Sorry things are rough right now! Sending lots of love from Austin (come visit)

  2. they still look beautiful and delicious! Just think of it as a hiccup — you’ll get it next time:)

  3. eileen says:

    Aw, it’s ok! We all have plenty of cooking failures–and failures in general. I could write you a longg book on mine. 🙂 I like to try to think of failure as a part of learning–because how awesome is it that we all get to learn and learn over and over all our lives? Pretty awesome!

  4. blueridgebluecollargirl says:

    I like what Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” 🙂 Eileen is right—we all fail pretty much on a daily basis, but failure is truly how we learn to do things better. And that’s what’s important—that we learn and grow.

    Keep looking up at those stars, sweet Jes…you’re going to be fine.

  5. “I’m just learning the salt in regret–the way it seasons and stings.” If failure means writing lines like that, I’ll take it. 😉

    Seriously though – I’ve had many days and moments of feeling like a failure. I think that if you’re a person who cares, has ambitions, wants more out of life, than that feeling is inevitable. Doesn’t make it easier, but that’s why we have wine!

  6. failure, I’ve been thinking about that too, lately. Or at least, the display of it. No conclusions yet except that there’s something more beautiful about showing the whole story, the whole path towards eventual success.

    ps, I once made a clafoutis using Hannah’s recipe that turned out pretty well! I couldn’t find the recipe just now, but I remember there were chia seeds in it.

  7. adriennefriend says:

    Not that it matters, but I’m proud of you for trying. You rock.

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