Durer's Melancholia

Durer’s Melancholia

Reflections Of A Golden I

After the holidays and the world is getting over its hangover, January rolls in as dismal as the weather. What to do to keep from falling into the depths of depression after the gangs all gone and you find yourself alone?

Which reminds me how vigorously I had to practice, not to fall into the pit of depression while living in Paris in the winter of 2012:

I had to remind myself why I did it. Why I decided on Paris, assuming it to be the city of lovers; the magical city of rose-lit evenings, the city of monumental architecture, fragrant food markets, haute couture and non-stop shopping; an idyllic city famous for its macarons and fois gras and its jeune vin blanc. Only to realize it was like any other city: a city swamped by tourists, overpopulated by residents, including the people who claimed the subway tunnels their hotel.

At five in the morning, on my way to the trains that would take me to the outskirts of the city and to LeNotre before eight, I never bumped into a soul that didn’t scare me.

Tramps so drenched in the smell of their own piss, so hungry and so accustomed to their place, they slept with their arms crossed against their chest, wrapped in rags like mummies dead to the traffic of pedestrians, and rats.

Rats the size of beavers burrowed up pant legs or the backside of coats in search of human warmth as the homeless slept. Whenever a train screeched into the station, seconds before the tourists invaded the Saint Michel platform, half-a-dozen chirping rodents sought refuge in the belly of vending machines, and resurfaced once the train shrieked away…

Turning to my SoulCollage® deck, I pick a card, and this is the wisdom my Medicine Buddha, the honourable Padmasambhava, Council card has to offer:

Blue Medicine Buddha

Blue Medicine Buddha


“Distract yourself. Distract yourself from yourself. Instead of avoiding the issue of your aloneness or depression, become aware of how you’re making yourself the focus of negative attention. Finding yourself alone and not liking it, sing your guts out. Finding yourself alone and not liking it, whirl like a dervish dances. Finding yourself alone and not liking it, laugh till your jaws hurt and you burst into tears from laughter. Finding yourself alone get out of the house, your apartment, that one-room studio and walk; walk until exhausted with yourself, you’re at peace with aloneness.”



One of my beloved spiritual teachers, Osho talks about aloneness in these terms:

melancholia“The first basic thing is to know your aloneness absolutely:

after being in tune with your aloneness, you can relate; then

your relationship will bring great joys to you, because it is

not out of fear.

Finding aloneness you can create, you can be involved in as

many things as you want, because this involvement will not

be running away from yourself anymore.

Now it will be your expression;

now it will be the manifestation of all that is your potential.” –

Osho, The Book of Women

So forget yourself, and let goodness follow!

Pomme Au Four, Baked Apple for One

Preheat Oven 180° Bake 15 minutes

Wash, peel and core one large Granny Smith apple.

Brush the apple with salted butter, stuff the core with a bit of butter, and sprinkle the apple with cinnamon to taste. Place the apple with a few teaspoons of water in a baking pan, and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile cut a sheet of puff pastry dough to fit another baking pan, brush the dough with salted butter. Place it in the baking pan lined with parchment and set aside.

When ready, remove your baked apple from the oven. Place your apple in the baking pan where you set aside the dough. Center the apple and wrap it with the dough, gathering the doughy ends at the top, then pinch to seal.

Beat one whole egg in a bowl, and lightly brush some of the egg over the dough’s surface. Then brush it with a coat of apricot jam, and sprinkle a little more cinnamon to taste. Place it in a clean, parchment lined baking pan and bake another 5 minutes in the oven, or until the pastry puffs, turns a flaky golden brown.

Serve your baked apple in a small pool of crème anglais the essence from the juice of apple cider.



Ingredients for Crème Anglais:

1 Litre Whole Milk

1 Vanilla Pod

200 grams Caster Sugar

240 grams Egg Yolks


  • In a casserole heat the milk
  • Split the vanilla pod, scrape the seeds, add them and the pod to the milk
  • In a bowl, use a whisk to blanche the egg yolks and sugar
  • Using a sieve pour a little milk over the blanched eggs, mix then pour egg mixture in casserole of heated milk, gently cook at 85°c degrees
  • Continuously stir with a spatula making sure the crème doesn’t boil
  • Keep stirring until a thin layer of crème adheres to the spoon
  • Immediately remove from the heat
  • Pour crème into a glass bowl, and let sit in a bowl of ice water to cool
  • When cooled, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate

When you’ve completely forgotten yourself, drizzle some crème over the pomme and eat!


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