The olive oil sizzles in the pan, a sprinkling of red pepper flakes bubbling within. A crush of garlic, a twist of pepper, a handful of salt await the cook's whim.
When discouragement comes calling, the tomatoes never judge. Onions become your friend, chopped and ready, weepy and weeping.
Watching and waiting, wooden spoon lies at the ready.
At the end, when all has been done, when there is nothing left to chop, and the salt has been returned to the pantry, pasta entreats you, steam rising into your face, a balm to your hurt, real or imagined.