K is for kuchen.
Kuchen is the German word for cake. I love cake (and have the figure to prove it).
And while many cakes appeal to me, I think perhaps a favorite that might appeal to our friend Fool is blitz kuchen, which is German for lightning cake.
I was surprised a few years when I was googling recipes for blitz kuchen to realize it was actually a kind of generic term meaning any sort of quick-to-whip-up-with-few-ingredients kind of coffee cake. Because the recipe I knew and was handed down from my grandmother was a rather labor-intensive kind of affair that required meringue folded into the butter-rich cookie-like dough which was spread thin on a cookie sheet, then covered with another layer of meringue, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and thinly sliced almonds. It’s not something I casually whip up, but rather save as a once or twice a year treat.
I always thought the blitz/lightning part of the expression referred to some alchemical magic that occurred turning the ingredients into such a delicious concoction. I’m sure Fool is having a good laugh at me for that one.
I thought of lightning, blitz, a couple of days ago. I’ve been on retreat in a wondrous magical mountainy place which overlooks a deep valley. It’s gorgeous no matter what, but when storms arrive it’s truly spectacular. I woke up one night and saw the most extraordinary lightning ever, and it’s one of those images that I imagine will stay with me forever. Love that!
I also thought about what Visar Zhiti, the Albanian poet who spent many years as a political prisoner enduring great hardship, wrote about sowing lightning:
Bolts of lightning from the sky
And plant them in fields of life.
They will grow like tender sprouts of fire.
Charge somber thoughts
With unexpected flash,
You, my lightning in the soil!”
I also thought about fulgurites, those amazing “tubes” formed when lightning hits sands and melts/fuses the silica. I have a beautiful specimen, and it feels very magical to me.
And somehow it feels like a perfect symbol for Fool as well, don’t you think? In a split second things can transform dramatically. What bolts of lightning do you want to seize and plant? Have a favorite kuchen? Love fulgurites? Do tell – you know I love to hear.