Last night, at my parent’s place for two days, I decide to make dinner from what’s in the fridge, and find myself rustling up a nice little feast.
A plate consisting of sublimely sautéed sweet red peppers with sambar curry powder, crisp-roasted zucchini in ghee, grand portabella mushroom and fat spring onion and local ocean perch perfectly prepared salt-and-peppered with a coating of ground herbes de provence, and fluffy brown rice, and an excellent flash of tsatsik made from kefir cheese and a fine choppage of fresh oregano, parsley, garlic and tomato.
Laying out the morning papers, these are my first impressions and reactions: he looks dead; have the papers (the editors and other powers that determine what images and information greet the media-consuming public) decided it is now okay to show dead children on the cover of the morning paper, oh it is Nepal; Boston wants to know about the Marathon Bombing and Violence in Baltimore than New York (the feed through my eyes and into my brain again challenges my self-centering filters, and my syntax does get confused); apparently the boy in colorful clothing on the gray ground is not dead but injured and asleep; a fist in the air in Baltimore and violence and death, and Abe is here from Japan and Obama said yeah to expanded military power for them; people in Boston mostly don’t want the death penalty for Tsarnaev but would be more comforted to know that he rots in prison for the rest of his life and we don’t ever need to know what he might have to say himself before he’s been driven insane, and what was all that about his middle finger, anyway…
As we’re finishing breakfast, the doorbell trills and Tenzin and her assistant are here to clean the place. We are finishing our cereal and banana and croissant and jams and apple juice and green tea when it strikes me – Tenzin is Tibetan, maybe she knows people in Nepal; but I hesitate to ask. A few minutes later, Tenzin is standing by the dining room table and Nona is holding her hand and pointing to the leak in the ceiling that appeared a few days ago due to another construction mishap and messed up a bunch of books, and Tenzin listens and grins and shakes her head in commiseration. A few minutes later, I hear her mention to Nona the earthquake in Nepal, and I come back from straightening up the bed to ask her, Do you know anyone there? And she answers, Yes, I know a few people who died. Her facial expression is a bit dark, though her tone is matter-of-fact, and she is busy cleaning.
Now as I am trying to finish this up and retain some coherence, the The Orb song I have been listening to to shut out the sounds of voices and vacuuming comes to an end, and I hear my father and Tenzin talking, and a little frantically I select more The Orb music to regain focus but catch snippets of Part of the problem is the urbanization there, it’s so built up, and in Japan they started preparing for these things a hundred years ago, and Yes I know some people there… These noodly rhythms are comforting my ears and putting a nice coating on my outlook for the moment, as I look out these construction film-protected new windows at the blue-dapped cloudy sky and the yellow house with the red door across the street and the brighter yellow and dark pink flower heads on the trees right out front that glisten when the sun comes out.