Wednesday, October 10, 2012
This is a broken knife - a French Opinel I have had for about thirty years. I have probably used it most days, usually to peel and chop vegetables but also for other things, like piercing a metal lid to help open a jar. I could do this sort of thing because the knife was seemingly indestructible and had this magical quality, that not only did it never need sharpening but it actually grew sharper with use, the blade is still keen though broken from its handle. Several years ago, on holiday in the Dordogne and thinking it might not last much longer, I bought another, slightly larger version. I never used it because it wasn't a patch on this knife. No knife is - Kitchen Devil, Sabatier, I have tried them all. We were a team and worked together beautifully. I began to believe it would last forever - I was wrong.
What to make of this? Don't tell me that a knife is a knife - I am a sign-reader and the granddaughter of a Jungian analyst who, on seeing a bird fall into her grate stone-dead, foretold her own death. I am a thrower of coins each new year, for the I Ching that repeatedly warns of a ridgepole that sags to breaking point and tells me that the wanderer has no place to lay his head. However you read it, this is just not auspicious. But it is also not the end. I will carry on chopping carrots, celery, leeks and butternut squash though I will never again do it with such unthinking flair or feel so in my element. Time to get out of the kitchen? The wanderer has no place etc......