The Cannoli Tube

self improvement, The creative urge, The Inspired Life

I’m going to share a little secret that I don’t think I’ve ever shared with anyone.

Anyone at all.

I think my life is like a cannoli tube.

Now if you have never had an Aunt Nonni or a mother who makes home-made cannoli, that statement might not make any sense at all, and in fact, even if you do, it still might not. It’s taken me a long time to understand how I turned out to be a cannoli tube, so I expected I would have to go into a little detail for you as well.

The majority of us do not go through life thinking about being tubes. Not cannoli tubes, not tubes of any kind really. We think about being flesh and blood and bones, all filled up to the brim with life’s challenges and daily events. We have our goals and our projects, our kids and our bills, our needs and our wants. A lot of those wants. That can be a long list.

We jump out of bed in the morning already filled up. Stuffed in fact, with all of life’s filling. Overflowing, just like a cannoli, with goo oozing out both ends. Now, there doesn’t have to be anything wrong with that. In fact, I love cannoli. Absolutely one of the best desserts made. As long as its fresh, with a crisp crust and a sweet, creamy cheese filling that has just been piped in for you to enjoy.

But before you can have any wonderful, fresh, delicious cannoli, you have to have a clean and empty tube ready to go, ready to make the crust, ready for action. A perfectly empty vessel just waiting to be filled with the batter that will be the basis for that spectacular gift to your culinary senses.

No cannoli tube- no cannoli.

If your cannoli tube is stuffed full of old dirty gunk, not cleaned out, not ready to do its job- no spectacular cannoli.

If I want to be like a beautiful tasty cannoli- I have to be a ready and willing cannoli tube.

Now I know this is a crazy, off the wall illustration to make my point. This is why it has been a secret for all 48 years of my life.

But when I am at my very best…my very, very best, it is when I have poured myself out, made myself a clean and empty vessel- a tube if you will- gotten rid of all of the negative gunk I can find, stepped outside of myself, put away my agendas and let the good energy powers  work through me. Let Creativity, God, Serendipity all use me for the needs of the day. When I am humble enough to become nothing more than an empty tube, waiting to be filled, I become more than I ever could be alone.

Its crazy. But its also true.

One of the most delicious desserts in the world comes from an empty tube. The most delicious things that I produce in the world happen when I am an empty tube too.


11 thoughts on “The Cannoli Tube

  1. I wish you could teach me how to empty myself! I think I could use a good cleaning out right about now, but haven’t figured out the trick to doing it yet!

  2. Wendi,

    That is a kick! What a delightful way to think about being open to the universe. Delicious, too… I’m headed to Philly this weekend to get a cannoli (made properly) based on this inspiration!

    In real life—I own tubes, I make great filling, but I stink at the shells. What does that make me? 🙂

    There’s a whole series in here, or maybe a quiz like Cosmo—”How are you like an Italian sweet? Take our quiz.”



    P.S. Every time I visit your site I get more jealous that you look so fabulous at 48. I am nine years younger and green with envy.

  3. good idea about the series Kelly.
    About being jeaous…no need, I wake up looking like a train wreak plenty of days.
    (don’t tell the boys)

    I promise I picked out my best picture 🙂
    Best foot forward right?

    As far as the shells? That’s the whole point, The tube must be spotless, The oil piping hot and fresh and you have to be always ready to go. Focused and ready.
    Like a lot of good Italian cooking, cannoli waits for nobody.

  4. Jan,

    Glad to see you here!

    Glad you came back after the links too, I just learned how to do them. Today was my first picture too!

    Such a learning curve!

  5. What a really great metaphor! I know where you’re coming from, when you are thankful for your life and can’t ask for more you find that you have more to give others.

    I think it was the Orielles who sang “kneel and pray” (one of the origional doo wop groups)
    “When you’ve got all you folks around you and the strength to go on another day
    When no worries and cares have found you, thats the time to kneel and pray”

  6. Hey there! I came over here ready to poke fun about Pastry Posts (really am looking forward to the Pie Theory), and WHAM! What a brain-shifting post.

    I’ve had a tough week, full of decision-making that I’d rather avoid. Having read about how you empty yourself, making way for grace and all it wants to bring with it, I see that I’ve been coming to my work (and these decisions) with buckets of expectations. Unfair ones, unreasonable ones, unrealistic ones. A wicked habit that I didn’t have a name for…

    But it has a name now: Cannoli Crisis 🙂 Being so full of expectation and frustration that there’s no room for grace.

    Many thanks…

  7. Okay, I confess. I don’t really get it. Wait – maybe I do. Is this about clearing your mind and spirit of all the debris and filling it with goodies? Honestly, I thought a cannoli was a noodle that gets stuffed with sauce and stuff. I had no idea it was a dessert. And now that I’ve just publicly admitted that fact, I’m going to go eat some Oreos.

  8. Melissa,

    You were close, Mostacolli is the baked noodle version that is shaped just like a cannoli tube.

    Now I want that for dinner. Soon. Very soon.

    See this is the problem with the links. No one sees them..I need to figure out how to highlight them better. There is a very good recipe right in the post and its being missed.

    Give me a clue–experienced posters….help?

  9. Wendi,
    I just had my first cannoli a couple of days and it was great! I can attest that the shell was the best part. Like my life, I am always trying to empty my “cannoli,” but most times I get side tracked by all of the gunk that I uncomfortably push through the tube. I also realize that the best “cannoli’s” are not just thrown together — they are carefully made with love and tenderness. Overall, great post.

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