An Insular Life

When I started with the internet, blogging first then signing up for various networking platforms, I had no patience for people who posted about the minutiae of their lives. I especially didn’t care what they ate — it didn’t seem to have any relevance in the grand scheme of a thoughtful literary life, and it certainly had nothing to do with my objective of making a name for myself as an author.

Well, here I am, a dozen or so years later, writing about my latest meal. In my defense, with the isolation, meals are basically the only thing I do of any value. And generally, if I stick to a healthy diet, my meals are boring. Salads get tiresome, as does any sort of vegetable eaten regularly for any length of time, and trying to find healthy proteins is a lost cause.

Today I decided to put some effort into making something different. (It was either this or ordering a pizza I really do not need). It might not look like much, but this spinach mushroom quiche alternative (baked eggs without a crust) turned out to be quite good.

I’m continuing to wean myself away from the computer, which leaves me with little to do but read. Since I finished my emergency stash of books, and since my email to the library with a list of books for me to pick up curbside resulted in no action, I’m in emergency-emergency mode — immersed in The Wheel of Time, a 4,000,000 word literary work that I’ve read many times before. The best thing I can say about it (besides its length — no need to look for books to read for a long time!) is that it has to be the quintessential good vs evil story. Or more accurately — sort of good some of the time vs, mostly evil all of the time.

It’s exhausting, not just the constant conflicts between the good and evil, the good and good, and evil and evil, but the sheer amount of activity. All the characters are always on the move, traveling from one part of their world to another, on foot, by horse, or by ship.

And the food they eat is even less interesting than what I generally eat — so often, they are on short rations of porridge, cheese, dried meat, and crusty rolls or bread sometimes flecked with weevils. (I must admit, though, that bread or rolls hot from the oven does sound wonderful. Minus the weevils, of course.)

I’m getting to the point where I can’t imagine a different life, though I don’t know if that is a good thing or a not-so-good thing. But it is what I have, at least for now.

And anyway, even if I couldn’t find anything more relevant in the grand scheme of things than my insular life to write about, at least I’m still writing every day.

That’s something to the good. At least, I hope it is.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

9 Responses to “An Insular Life”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    I can send you some recipes, if you like. Some of what I cook is even healthy as well as delicious.
    And if you need reading recommendations, I’ve got plenty that isn’t horror I can suggest (and plenty more that is).

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I appreciate the offer and maybe someday I’ll take you up on it, but the problem now is that I have to cook what I have the ingredients for. Cooking recipes is hard because some things are hard to come by and some things I can’t (or shouldn’t) eat. I hope you’re staying healthy.

  2. Phyllis Lutz Says:

    I want the recipe

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      It’s not much of a recipe. I just thawed and drained a package of spinach, drained a small can of mushrooms, cut up a chunk of cheese, added it all to 8 beaten eggs, poured it into a buttered pan, sprinkled a bit of cheese on top, and baked it for one hour at 350 degrees. Normally I wouldn’t have used so many eggs, but it seemed like a lot of spinach for four to six eggs.

  3. Sam Sattler Says:

    I think that you purchased a house when you did has turned out to be a real blessing in more ways than one, Pat.

  4. Judy Galyon Says:

    That is one of my favorite type of meals!!! You have made my mouth water. Keep your recipe & MAYBE one day I will go back to doing some real cooking & ask you for it.

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