There is something ideal about the pace of the simmering pot, the tomato sauce, the soup stock, the reduction, the jam, that rests on the back of the stove, hovering on the edge of my attention as I attend to my other tasks. Simmering gives a kind of unity to the day or even to the hour, something to which I keep returning, to stir briefly, to taste and smell, or to add some missing ingredient. It is the setting or the scenery that provides the mood and the rhthym for the narrative of my other activities. It is like music on the stereo or weather through the window. My life is played out over what is simmering in the pot.