tea has brought me back to life this morning.
there is a ‘perfect’ temperature for tea, where you can take a gulp and not get burned, yet it warms your whole body right down to the ends of your fingers and toes. I have it right now. though it only lasts a short time. fleeting, a span of minutes. you cannot leave your cup in order for this to occur, if you get up to do the dishes, start reading a book, or answer the phone you will miss it. you must sit with it, without blowing, and be present. Wait. Only then will the ‘perfect’ temperature present itself to you.
I love when I can drink a whole cup this way.
Samuel Beckett made my stomach hurt yesterday.
So apparently Becket was notorious for having few possessions in his apartment and shunning the outside world.
“All I want to do,” he said once early in his career, “is sit on my ass and fart and think of Dante.”
“If it be knowledge or wisdom one is seeking, then one had better go direct to the source. And the source is not the scholar or philosopher, not the master, saint or teacher, but life itself — direct experience of life.”
-Henry Miller, Books in My Life
I was in a large grocery store yesterday filling my cart with my favourite things. Some decadent items might include a passion fruit (the most magnificent shade of pink I have ever seen), Tazo tea, squid, tilapia, shiny baby eggplant, pink tulips, Tom’s of Maine toothpaste (spearmint), parmigiano reggiano, cured olives, and of course, grapefruit. (No I did not find any Durian). I have a thing for grapefruit, it has become a big part of my breakfast ritual. You can’t rush a grapefruit. It begs you to sit and insert a spoon into each section gracefully and patiently. If you try to rush through it you will end up frustrated or squirting yourself in the eye, (it really stings).
So I was hurriedly grabbing a couple of grapefruit and throwing them into my cart when I heard a thick Jamaican accent saying, “It’s four for a dollar.” I turned to see a woman smiling at me with the most beautiful large brown eyes. I stopped and said, “Oh, well, hmm. Two more can’t hurt.” “You cannot go wrong with grapefruit. It’ll make your life betta”, she exclaimed. “Yes, I know that for a fact.” I replied. We exchanged a few more words on the subject of fruit. It may sound strange, but in this short exchange there was such a charge of electricity. I wanted to stand there and talk to her more about life, about food, anything actually. Something about her passion stirred something in me, connection. She looked directly into my eyes. All of this happened in the span of about a minute. All because of a mutual love for grapefruit. I smiled and thanked her, put the grapefruit in my cart and walked over to the next aisle.
any tips on eating passionfruit?
Once every people in the world believed that trees were divine and could take a human or grotesque shape and dance among the shadows; and that deer and raven and foxes, and wolves and bears, and clouds and pools, almost all things under the sun, and the sun and moon, were not less divine and changeable…
They dreamed of so great a mystery in little things that they believed the waving of a hand, or of a sacred bough, enough to trouble far-off hearts, or hood the moon with darkness.
When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.
I have spent most of the weekend in the city once again. Participating in a workshop on breathing, dinner with a friend, and taking in a show. This morning at 10:45am I was walking through the bus terminal, waiting to board a bus to Flesherton. In the middle of this busy place I noticed a small fenced off area. Inside this area was a 3ft by 2ft cage. Not surprisingly, my curiousity was instantly peaked. The cage contained a metal bowl, a plastic container (holding water), and several broken bits of what looked like bread. What kind of animal are they intending to catch? Was is for pigeons? I seem to recall seeing pigeons fly aimlessly about various high ceilinged buildings, are they trapped? I stood for a time pondering, and secretly wanting to see some animal waddle up, ready for dinner.
I wander over to the nearby cafe, and grab a bottle of juice for my trip. The following conversation transpired.
me: (pointing) What is the cage for? Pigeons maybe?
cashier: (matter of factly) Oh, The ghost.
me: The ghost?
cashier: Yes, there is a ghost that haunts the place. They put food in there, then they gonna capture it and take it out of the building.
me: (smiling) What do ghosts like to eat?
cashier: (smiling) I don’t know.
me: (looking at the empty cage) No luck yet, eh?
cashier: (shaking his head) No.
me: Maybe they should try lobster, if I was a ghost I would eat lobster.
cashier: (laughing) Yes, that might work.
me: Is that a religious thing?
cashier: I think so.
I paid for my juice and sat down to wait for my bus. I was reminded of one of my favourite Tori Amos songs called “Happy Phantom”, which starts “And if I die today I’ll be the Happy Phantom”. She talks about all of the things she would do and places she would haunt if she were a ghost. These include, chasing nuns out in the yard, going to the opera for free, running naked through the streets. I’ve often contemplated my own “places of haunting” list. There are the typical and romantic haunts, old churches, creepy victorian houses, graveyards (where famous writers are buried), and an enchanted garden. And then there are the more exciting venues, the Louvre in Paris, Charleston House (where Virginia Woolf hung out with the Bloomsbury Group), an ancient library in England full of all of the great works literature, or maybe a famous artist’s painting studio. I spose it may not be up to us, but it’s fun to contemplate. I must say, the Toronto Bus Station would definitely not be one of my picks. Is it possible that the ghost is indecisive on his/her destination? Maybe they figure a bus station provides unlimited access to various places accross Canada? Or maybe, like me they just like people watching?
Yes, that must be it.
“Every day we’re getting closer
The sun is getting dim
Will we pay for who we been?”
I have come down with the dreaded virus that has been circulating around the village like a badly behaved child. It gets passed along through everyday conversations, people going to the mail, while sitting casually in a local restaurant, touching the keys on the bank machine. It has a knack for seeking out those whose immune systems are not up to snuff. If only these viruses were visable to the naked eye, then we might be able to spot them peeking out of a coat pocket, or lying in wait on the edge of a mitten. Then they would be in trouble. I picture them like those little furry coal bugs in Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, running frantically up the hem of a neighbor’s pant leg. Or hiding in a bowl of fruit, ready to jump onto an unsuspecting hand. I would watch for them, and attempt to shoot them with an elastic band gun. They would be no match for me.
For now, I sit waiting for my body to finish it’s battle with the dreaded bugs, purging it out through various body fluids. They sail through the air with every cough. Yet I know they sit there waiting for the next unsuspecting victim to come along, when they will sneak into a pocket and continue their journey. On to new and better things I suppose. Just you wait bugs, you won’t get me the next time. I know your secrets.
That reminded me of my friend Stu’s kitchen. He found some beautiful images of food borne viruses, samonella, ecoli, and several others. They are compelling, and leave no impression of their inherent deadliness. They hang right over the cutting board for an added touch of irony.