How many hours I have stood by my old Universal stove and chopped onions, I can’t tell you. Many, many, probably. It seems like most recipes for supper begin with chopping onions, so at 5:30 or so you can find me at the kitchen counter chopping and crying. I’ve already splashed olive oil into the black iron skillet, and turned up the flames, so that when I add the chopped onion, there is a satisfying “woosh” of sizzle and smoke. Sometimes as I cook I imagine that God is actually a cook, and that she created the Universe by tossing onions onto a really big skillet, and the earth and heavens arose from a pillar of flames and smoke. Other times, I just cook onions. To forestall boredom, the window ledge in front of me holds interesting things: a cement squirrel with a broken ear, some herb jars, a watercolor of a blue sky, just in case the real sky isn’t blue, and in the spring, a tiny vase of violets. The squirrel listens with rapt attention as I sing, swear, and cry. And as I cook I think of Emily Bronte long ago kneading bread dough with a German grammar propped open before her, attending to the quotidian, but listening to the far away.