The highlights of bread well done for breakfast.
The highlights of bread well done for breakfast.
So (probably the worst way of starting a paragraph, fear style), I’m planning a trip that might get me fired. And how’s that for an opener? I could narrate in long and winding sentences all the abc reasons as to why. I’m trying the career thing and I might be breaking. But being somewhere where I can get lost always affords the intense perspective of how small our problems really are, instead of drowning in them.
It was either long stretches or road with nothing, except eagles and gum trees on sight, or a convoluted and twisted road that hugged the coast. Still that month on the road with the bare minimum is perhaps on of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
It is a bit like the dream not achieved, and I have loads of those waving at me silently (and not so silently) from the sides of the road, so you look at it with that gaze of nostalgia in your eyes that the years give you (at times) and the sensation that some dreams are better to stay like that, discarded on the way over. I digress, again, recap: like a lot of women, when they are girls, I wanted to be blond-perfect and shiny smiled, but, I’m not blond and I have gaps in my teeth.
I wanted them corrected but I was too shy to ask my dentists about it. He always said they were fine.
I used to push them with my fingers on really bad days, putting pressure on them hoping that next day I could wake up with a nice ad smile. It was self punishing.
And then I grew up and I love my gaps. ‘Everything I bite stays with me a long time’. And now I have space for everything, for all that love and hate and food and drink. I have gaps in my teeth.
Slow breakfast, sunny Melbourne, they had this amazing popcorn puree about which I still dream about. Who would’ve thought I would meet one of my best friends that same evening? The person with whom so many adventures were made easy and possible?
And here is to another one soon, on the other side of the planet (a trip that might get me fired but that will be another dream achieved).
A few days ago I saw a woman falling down a set of stairs. It deeply upset her, not the fall itself but as if a feeling or an attitude of the stress she was experiencing was a becoming a constant combination of physical hurts. And I think she was right. Needles to say, it stayed with me with a growing sense of compassion for all of us who live in increasingly massive urban centers and we make our little worlds a source of pain and stress, indicators that something obviously needs to change.
And it made me think again of a dream, a dream where this peace and serenity can be found with the help of our senses, not the negation of them.
Jeong Kwan is apparently a dream for the hipster foodie, or so the reviews say. For me it was that dream of freedom found. I am, probably, a foodie by critical standards, I’m also painfully hipster as my two careers of choice seem to cater to that. Then again I’ve never wanted anything more than the joy of a work well done and an opening of the mind through the intellectual (bookstore) or the awareness of the senses (barista). Whatever I painted a justification or not, my hipsterness (or lack of it to be honest, despite the surrounding scene) is totally irrelevant in front of the world she gives you and you have to have a soul made of lead if you don’t find her, and her food, deeply inspiring.
Watch her at The Chef’s Table Season 3.
Even if really, really, early in the morning, (sometimes, it’s even better if it’s really that early in the morning, but only sometimes), that slow pacing of getting up and taking your time taking care of the food you are going to start the day with, whatever that is, the sitting down without the hurry to be somewhere, be it alone or in company. With or without a book. The kind of proper breakfast that makes your mind wander through strange lands.
The refuge my brother works at (and runs) closed up for christmas and was thoroughly taken by us, just a dusting of snow outside, the high Pyrenees looming around, zero reception, warm and woody inside. That smell of burning wood that permeates and never lets go but that after a while you don’t even notice. The stacked coffee cups, the dried meat and the fruit.
I am a talker, a writer of sorts, elliptic and metaphorical for sure, though whatever I write or say is usually just whittling at what it is that I might be trying to explain; a trait some have tried to cure up to a limited success. Is that why I usually fall back to personal experiences in to start with.
I also love using my hands, despite what can appear to be an slightly academic tendency, writing on a notebook with any kind of pencil, pen or stylo is still a feeling of accomplishment.
And, clumsy as I might be, it doesn’t quite matter anymore how many glasses I break on a regular basis, with how many obstacles I bump into as I seem to not look all that much at my surroundings, using my hands to do something, anything at all, it’s a grounding jolt.
It reads like an stereotype in here, the narrative of this distorted appealing feminine clumsiness of thousand of heroines who need an outside validation to feel that they deserve to even occupy a physical and real space, except that I do not need that validation and I am a klutz by my own human design, to my inability to inhabit the moment.
So, it doesn’t matter if you are good or not, doing something with your hands, concentrating on the task at hand, getting dirty, all accounts for something. Even if it is just as a plant pot.
There’s this rundown restaurant, back in Barcelona, where we once went after a class (that feels like ages ago) to have some food, it was a mix of the staples of peruvian cuisine, ceviche, plantains and yuka, and it made me fall in love with whatever comes from a peruvian kitchen. The tables were uncomfortable, slightly sticky, hard wood, difficult to move around, there wasn’t a lot of costumers that night and for some reason I barely remember who I was with. The dishes though, not easy to forget.
YOSHIMA Junko（豊島 淳子 Japanese）