Sunday, May 15, 2005

water lillies

Culture - it's certainly something we don't have for our own. Even beauty.

I'm always amazed by the gardens they have. So neat and pretty ... and beautiful. Each leave tamed, each branch disciplined, and the background of breeze and cool morning sunlight glows throughout. Paint in a waterfall or a sparkling lake and play the music of running water. Everything well-kept, and loved. You can see the amount of love and attention showered on nature, and how much everything is gingerly taken care of. Perhaps that's the difference.

Some may say there is beauty in wilderness too. I certainly do not disagree. It is the indifference and the artificiality that hurts the eyes, and the soul. What you build and create and leave ignored and abandoned, in a jungle of concrete and a monstrousity of smoke, pollution and metal. Unlike the wilderness, indifferent it is not, for there it is full of life and music. Would we ever to have a garden, to be overrun by our short attention span? Time and effort requires, to create a beautiful haven of peace and serenity.

We are a practical people. To the hawker centre we go, a plate of chay kuay teow, all noodles and sticky stuff, runneth on the plate. A sight for sore eyes, but you hardly throw a glance, or even stop to admire. Just the aroma, and hastily you shove into the mouth. As long as it is hot, and good, and full of sin, would you ask for something pretty to admire?

And so it is most different. With sushi and sashimi ... and many other of their little food. Even the soup, with the egg tofu. A piece of art, to be admired. The taste is exquisite, just a little mouthful. Leaves you wanting for more, and that is the secret.

Big is good ... but small is beautiful.

I dump everything onto the plate, tired and hungry when I'm finished. Cooking is a hot affiare, not something I can do elegantly. The heat, the wok and the adrenaline, makes you want to leave the kitchen, throw in the towel, and tuck in quickly before it gets cold. Would I spend time to arrange every piece of morsel on the plate, just so that it be admired? I don't think so. For we are a practical ... and hungry people.

But it would certainly be nice, once in a while, to sit back and admire, what you put in your mouth. To exclaim and feel your soul soar, with admiration and gladness, to partake that beautiful little morsel, which is most likely damn expensive as well.

We shall have to start planning for a holiday. To hell with the house. :P

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