January 10, 2011

The Missing Spatula

How is it that a vital kitchen tool can disappear overnight? Last night, ready to turn the tilapia fillets browning in a non-stick skillet, I searched the utensil drawer for the spatula designed for non-stick surfaces. Not there, nor in any drawer in the kitchen. Not in the dishwasher. Not in the freezer (where occasionally missing objects turn up). Using a metal tool, I carefully turned the fillets, now somewhat browner than I had intended, and went on with dinner preparations.

Since then, Peter and I have done an exhaustive search of the kitchen with no luck. Did our errant tool get boxed up with the Christmas decorations? Or did it just disappear into an alternate universe inhabited by single socks, lost books, missing earrings, and misplaced bank statements? And, if so, will it return before I spend money to replace it?

When more elusive things disappear--a memory of a person, event, or place, for instance--I find that simply relaxing and letting go works. If I let my mind move on, the memory soon pops into my awareness. Seeking, searching, looking for something lost is not always the best approach. Sometimes it's best just to wait.

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