On Life as MayonnaiseBy Emma Pearson
December 6, 2023
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
1970 MGB car
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”.