On President’s Day we had our usual “Chosen Family Dinner” with our neighbors and my contribution was this Ina Garten appetizer. It was fabulous. Not light, but fabulous.
I’ll tell you right now, I’m terrified of phyllo dough. Terrified! So terrified that I have never, never once in my life, made anything edible with phyllo, and if a recipe calls for it, I move on and try to find something — anything! –— else. I made a really good, reliable crab dip at the same time, in case the phyllo-thing didn’t work out, but it did work (I was, frankly, shocked) so I took both appetizers for dinner.
So much for the request from our host: “I’m making XX. Can you bring a light appetizer?”
Since when is phyllo dough and cheese and crab, light??
I’m reading Phillip Lopate’s TO SHOW AND TO TELL. In the intro he writes: “What makes me want to keep reading a nonfiction text is the encounter with a surprising, well-stocked mind as it takes on the challenge of the next sentence, paragraph, and thematic problem it has set for itself.”
Problems? Surprising problems? Kind of like trying to make something, anything. with phyllo dough?
Every day when I write/edit, I have the same issues. Will this work? Or maybe this? What if I spend all this time and money and energy, and it all goes wrong? What if I can’t shape it and make it fucking work?! Ahhhhhhhhh!
What will happen if I come to the end and, in the last nanosecond, realize what an amateur nobody I am and that what I’ve made isn’t the least bit palatable?
Fear of the phyllo. Fear of failure. It’s all the same, isn’t it?