On Life as Mayonnaise

By Emma Pearson

June 25, 2021

Main image by Daniel Costa on Unsplash

17 May 2021

This isn’t a “deep” piece … just some in-the-moment noodlings, metaphors and wonderings.

Sometimes people talk of “not being able to turn mayonnaise back into its component parts”, i.e., you can’t get your whole eggs back once you’ve beaten the hell out of them, mixed them with oil and lemon and perhaps a few other ingredients. Something about the adding of an emulsifier (in mayonnaise’s case, egg yolk) which binds and keeps together ingredients that otherwise would separate again in time.

There’s something about this concept of “never going back”, never being able to return to being the original component parts, that resonates with me when it comes to lost loves and ensuing Grief.

Some of my former life’s vital ingredients/component parts

Mike
Ben
Travel
Adventure
Happiness
Skiing
Volunteering
Swimming
Emma
Megan
Cooking
Building
Gardening
Family
Pets
London
…  
Edward
Love
30 years
Health
Illness
Hospitals
Hospice
Switzerland
…  
Julia
Experiences
Chemo
Radiotherapy
Working
Friendships
1970 MGB car
France

All of these ingredients felt integrated, blended, woven into the mixture I called my life.

Some of these ingredients were so very hard, heavy, to handle. Some of them were pure joy. But the whole was coherent, vital, strong. Almost always. A few lumpy bumpy moments and times which were ironed out with more love and good will.

What becomes of a life, one’s mayonnaise, when core ingredients are removed? I can add some new ingredients (and by golly Medjool is a good new ingredient, as are new friendships with a community of Grieflings I never imagined I would so come to rely on). AND yet it’s so different. A different kind of mayonnaise. One I never thought I would need to taste. One that’s got more salty tears in it than my first version.

I am trying my damnedest to develop a taste for the new mayonnaise. On a good day it can be very tasty. Even comforting. On other days it can taste rancid. Alien. And then I just want the missing ingredients back in it, even if I genuinely love and appreciate the new ingredients.

Letting the old mayonnaise go is so hard, even if there is a new fresh bowl waiting for me. Inviting me to savour it, to delight in its texture and flavour.

No comparison. Enormously different. And despite that, still very much worth living for.

My new deep truth:

“I loved my old mayonnaise and wish I could still have it, AND I am finding ways to love my new mayonnaise”.  

About Emma Pearson

2 thoughts on “On Life as Mayonnaise

  1. This was similar to my reflections this weekend… As my 10 year wedding anniversary passed.
    I LOVED my old life…. And I’ve LOVED many parts of my new life… It’s just different.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *