The Ugly Biscuit

A funky shaped, flopped-over, creased and wadded bunch of biscuit dough, just doesn’t look as appealing to eat, as those other, crisply cut brothers around it on the baking sheet. It isn’t going to easily be split into two nice halves. It won’t make a nice breakfast sandwich, or hold a thick smear of jelly, without falling apart into pieces…

Nope, the Ugly Biscuit, often times gets tossed, near noon, once all the good ones have been taken, and it’s just a cold hard lump that no one wants…

So why then, do I have a soft heart and warm idea about the ‘ol Ugly Biscuit? Enough so, that I have joked to Lindsay that someday, in the far out future, if we ever ran a little breakfast joint, with rich coffee and hearty bacon and just good morning-time food. I would like to call it, The Ugly Biscuit.

I suppose I relate with the idea, that it’s uniqueness and personality, gives it a character unlike it’s (literally) cookie-cutter neighbors. Cookie Cutter is a term that gives me the heebie-jeebies. I don’t like it at all. Wouldn’t want to be described in that way myself. But dang, I have to admit, eating a perfectly formed biscuit, as a sandwich or under a pile of gravy, is a treat!

Growing up, on weekend mornings, Mom made biscuits. I loved those things. Just the right size for little butter, and a spoon of jelly, and then one or two or three more. While they’re still steaming hot upon cracking open, was best. Almost all of them were pretty little biscuits, except the Ugly one. A rolled up little ball that was the collection of all the in-betweener cutout pieces, smooshed together and baked.

Sure, I feel like the Ugly Biscuit, myself, a lot. I’ve smashed and mushed and slapped together my own life, grabbing at different influences and energies. I’ve combined and concocted, and created something that no one could call uniform or cookie-cutter. A quote from my ‘Aunt’ Shirley this week said it best. “I don’t think you were ever normal.”

Nope, sure ain’t.

And that is quite acceptable to me now more than ever, and especially in the context of this blog post setting. Her statement and recollection, was music to my ears. A huge compliment, whether she meant it that way or not. So much so, that I just had to excitedly post it to facebook, as soon as I heard it…

Which is what I see a lot of there. People posting something self-complimenting that they just love to reiterate to the wider audience of the web, maybe expecting the automatic ‘like’ response from friends and maybe some encouraging comments to go along with it…

Yup, I did it. I made another ‘cookie-cutter’ move out in the world of the internet. Maybe I’m not the totally ‘weird’ abnormalite I’d like to believe myself to be. I did it too y’all. Ooooh, look at me, someone said something cute (about me), and I want to hear your positive acknowledgment (about me!)

Which brings me to my point this week about my Toaster Oven. Also included is: my Stove Top ‘burners’ and the nature of the spectrum of light, or temperature, or even time. It amazes me, that when I toast my bread in the toaster oven, I have to set the little dial somewhere in the tiniest dot that lies in between an outline picture of a slice of bread, and a filled-in picture of a slice of bread. These two are the two choices: dried out but colorless, or blackened black burnt. If however, you set the dial right in the middle, AND sit there watching the bread through the glass door, AND flip it once or twice so that both sides get more evenly heated, you can get great golden brown toast.

The spectrum of Toastiness is quite wide, yet only the tiniest spot on that spectrum produces good toast. Also with light. The spectrum of light is so vast and wide we can’t imagine it. We only see a tiny sliver of ‘visible’ light to our eyeball calibration. It’s tiny, what we actually can use among the light available to us, without other equipment. Again, the spectrum of time, is a mind-boggler. We could debate it’s length, or it’s end, or even whether it’s linear or non. It could be ultra dimensional in ways we can’t fathom. Or it could not exist at all. Yet, our sixty or seventy or eighty or ninety-ish decades in this space of time, is again, just a blink, of an ultra-fast snapshot, as we lay-men understand it to be.

Weird idn’t it. In the spectrum of normality, I may seem weirder than some, to myself. I sit as the ugly biscuit in the middle of the pan. Feeling passed over, or envious of those around with level puffy rising-ness. And yet, just adjacent to this point on the spectrum, I am much more normal that I could ever imagine. The space between just isn’t that darned far. The gap between where we think we lack, and where we feel fulfilled is a hair-width away. I know this to be true. I see the pattern and example laid out in the structure of our universe. The usable and important playing field is just a tiny glimpse of the truth.

I do get caught up, thinking that I need to account for, and explain and understand the entire spectrum of the purpose of my life. I can be depressed at the missed opportunities or places I’d rather be right now. I could lament chances gone by. I could look forlorn to another winter ahead without a trip to the mountains for me… boo hoo. I cry.

My mind is an expert at creating disappointment around all the things I could have, or not have, and all the experiences I could have, or not have, based on a huge spectrum of possibility. I see someone else, in better shape, I think, ‘I could be in that shape too, if I tried.’ I see someone richer, and smarter and with better vocabulary. I think, ‘Why didn’t I go to a four-year school, why didn’t I take life more seriously, sooner?’ Or the flipside, I see someone joking and enjoying and free flowing and I think, ‘Why don’t I have a better sense of humor. I could be having fun like them now, or making people laugh. I would like that better, than being so serious all the time!’

These are tiny dots on a huge spectrum of creation. To me, they can seem eons apart, unreachable, unfathomable in distance. Yet they not.

A tiny twist of the dial here, a minute step there. I have lived into new worlds and experienced places with addresses like, “You can’t get there from here.” Truly. I laugh at myself with the synchronicities and obvious coincidences that paint the surfaces of my life. It is just crazy to see how it has all come together to this point.

Just like the dough, which started as flour and butter and a little salt and sugar with milk, was given height with the baking powder. But, that really isn’t the whole truth. The flour was a grain before ground, the salt a mineral formation in the earth. The milk was produced by a living animal. But before that, the grain was a seed, the earth a cauldron of creation, and the cow brought forth from generation upon generation ago. Let’s not even go into the inventions and creativity involved in a Maytag oven, and civilized home, in a civilized community to bake within.

The spectrum of what it took to create that pan of biscuits truly divinely orchestrated. So it is with myself. And so with you too. And so this little moment, this flash of cognition, as I type this word, and you realize I am speaking directly to YOU, who is reading Now. Whew. Amazing that this point has been reached at all. With the spectrum of possibility against the probability of it’s existence…

And I want to worry, that my biscuit is kinda Ugly sometimes… Yes, I do. But it’s silly…. Because beauty is inherit, in the being-ness itself 🙂

Thanks be to God, with whom all things are possible.


Aaron Nichols

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