"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

14 June 2012

Extraordinary Mundanity

The other day, whilst doing yard work, I happened to look up into the clear turquoise sky. There, along the southwest flank of Mount Pendelton,  just above the valley's rim, sat a half-lidded eye of the moon, showing phantasmal. I drew a deep breath, finding this spectacle tragically interesting; in the imagery and tongues of science fiction, where everything is rocket-fueled and laser-powered, the sight of another heavenly body, another world, is awe-inspiring. Exotic. Yet, here, on this pale blue dot, such a thing is lucky if noted with a passing glance. It's only the moon. Here, it is a mundanity.

As of late, my culinary tastes have been turned in the directions of  Mesoamerica and the Caribbean. I find this to be a bit of a natural progression; I've mastered pan-Asian cuisine and I've got a bit of reputation amongst some who know me for my grasp of food from the Indian sub-continent. Some have waxed poetic about my taste and heat in their mouths.

And apparently my curries don't suck neither...

A few years back was when I started traveling to Africa on a gastronomic level. North African-Morocco, specifically-and Ethiopia host some of my favorite dishes, though I do like piri-piri out of Mozambique. That savory heat factor. It has been suggested that my taste for spicy is one of those things that helps me in rarely taking ill.

Then, it was up along the Mediterranean regions and the middle east. I especially dig Spanish. Probably because it's in spitting distance of Morocco, but also because the recipes, along with the wines, are nothing short of fantastic.

Sabina was not surprised in the least when she caught me rooting through my cookbooks. I usually have our meals schemed out a week in advance, which makes going to the souk a quick and painless process. When I told her about my jones for Mesoamerica and Caribbean food, she merely smiled.

"Of course you do," she said. "It's exotic! You're drawn to things you find exotic. You have to be different. Contrary." Then she got a wicked gleam in her eye. "Go ahead, deny it! Argue about being different and contrary."

"Nobody likes you," I said with a glare, and she threw her arms around my neck.

"You don't like me!" She chuckled. "You love me!"

Fucking woman. And the other day, somebody had the audacity to ask me why I drink. Imagine.

I know a pair of distinguished gentlemen who proudly proclaim they're Francophiles. That's fine, I suppose, though I wonder how Frank feels about it. Of course, it seems when phile comes into context, you're on some sort of registry and people look at you with disdain. Personally, I'd rather not be marked, filed, briefed, or debriefed at all. My life is my own.

Sabina, Jezebel, and my daughter would all say I'm an exotophile. As long as it's not American, too far north of the equator, or from the present age, I'm all kinds of Holmes-like interested. Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps I find those above listed things to be a mundanity, and there might be tragedy in that.

After all, someone in Tibet might find those ancient Buddhist monasteries as everyday as the Presbyterian church down the way, but think Coldplay or Nickelback just might be edgy. The exotic is merely a point of view. So it goes.

Once, a girl, quoting an indie-film told me anything less than extraordinary was a waste of time. She said this unto me when some of acquaintances of mine were fading into the slow death of suburbia and television lobotomies. Celluloid though the line was, I hearkened, and, was made glad, by receiving what I would take as gospel.

I've never done well with boredom, though I've sometimes described myself as a boring little man. Certainly, those who have, or still do, lead the rock and/or roll lifestyle might find what I find entertaining downright dull. Of course, I did my penance around the rock and/or roll lifestyle, and it can get trite after awhile, believe it or don't.

I search for the extraordinary in the little things, taking pleasure in it. There are adventures to be had in the magical moments between heartbeats if one knows how to look. Perhaps it's just a stubborn refusal to grow up and settle down, but I've mentioned before, I fucking hate grown-ups.

The moon was extraordinary that warm mountain late morning. As was the chorizo and potato tinga I made for supper. The rhythms and rhymes of the cosmos is the most fantastic of backbeats. I try not to allow myself to be suckered by mundanities, but, then again, these days, I try not to let anything be mundane.     


  1. "And apparently my curries don't suck neither..." Snort of laughter at that one--coffee burns the nose. Caught me off guard after the previous paragraph describing the poetic taste and heat of your cooking. Too funny...

    This was a great post, beginning and ending with the extraordinary that was the moon illuminating your place in the world.

    And who knew? You can cook, and well considering your exotic choices. Really contrary...er...cool.

    1. Thank you. My father taught me how to cook so I'd never need a woman. Even told a story about it once;


    2. My father taught me how to fish, shoot a gun, use every tool in his arsenal to fix just about anything...so I wouldn't need a man.

      Loved your "bad boy" story.

    3. That just speaks to the divinity of fathers, doesn't it?

  2. "Nobody likes you." -that's my line, you know. I had to stop saying it when my friends would predict it and say it right along with me.
    Anyway, the moon is not mundane. She's always changing.

    1. Both my daughter and Sabina have been given to mouthing along with me when I say that. It's vexing.

      I totally agree with you about the moon. There was someone I used to know whom would phone me sometimes just to make sure I saw it, and I'd return the favor.

  3. "television lobotomies" *shudder* The truth of that is agonizing. I devoured this...and wished I was on your dinner party list. I'm enchanted and addicted to food--especially the savory spicy kind.

    I think there is a mammoth difference between contentment and boredom. They can involve the exact same situation, but the mind completes the equation. Some just have the intellect of an almond...and cannot see the moon for what she is.

    1. It's been years since I've thrown a proper dinner party...

      I like that bit of an almond's intellect, although, with some, you're truely insulting the almond. I also do agree with your statement about being conetent.