Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Life Is Short.

It was the week of 12-12-12, which was supposed to have some great cosmic significance. Jen Pascual, the marketing genius and farm-to-table advocate behind Moveable Feast, had redesigned my blog and, seriously, guys...doesn't it look FABULOUS???

Last week, all these random people also started telling me they liked my blog. In fact, I was thrilled when one of Manila's most widely read bloggers, Cecile Zamora of Chuvaness, told me (okay, told a friend of mine) she reads my blog and very generously offered some great suggestions to make it better.  Stuff like this means the world to me, because there are times when I'm convinced my audience consists mainly of the Destructo-Cats and five spammers from Russia.
"See what I did there, Misha? It's a play on words."

"Hmm...yeah. I think it works."
And then, the Reproductive Health bill was passed on its 2nd reading in the House of Representatives, a huge milestone for the Philippines. Clearly a magically, twinkly, sparkly week for everyone.

I was going to make chili, I decided. A second batch for Christmas gifts, and maybe even a third batch just to give away to celebrate when I posted an entry about this sparkly, twinkly, cosmic week.  And then, I was going to roast a chicken

ANOTHER roast chicken?" my friend Denise snarked. "Why not just call your blog Roast Chicken, Toy Kitchen?"

Then, I woke up on Saturday morning to the horrifying news about about the shooting in Connecticut. And suddenly, posting anything even remotely sparkly or twinkly seemed horribly inappropriate. In fact, I couldn't think of anything to post at all.

All plans fell by the wayside as I remained glued to my TV and computer.  But eventually, the beans and my pending Christmas gift list called out to me and I got up to make my chili.

And as I read or listened to narratives of heroes at Sandy Hook, intelligent discourse on gun control and mental health, and not so intelligent (sometimes, downright idiotic) theories on classroom prayer, arming civilians and why women should stay at home, I found myself taking some small comfort in the the process of creating nourishment.  Amidst the cacophony of voices shrill with anger, grief and bewilderment, I found the task of cooking strangely calming.

It was only when I began stirring my soaked beans into the chili and heard the strange thuds against my wooden spoon that I realized I had forgotten to cook the beans.  Mind you, this was a recipe I had made so many times in my effort to get it just right, that I could have made it in my sleep. Blindfolded. With a cat on my head and an arm tied behind my back.

Strangely enough, though, even the painstaking process of fishing out each and every bean was soothing, rather than tedious. Well, mostly. I imagine even the Dalai Lama would find nearly two hours of bean-picking just a little bit tedious. Still, it felt good to make something I was proud of and enjoyed making.

And that last part is important, see, because anything can happen between now and the moment you achieve your goal. You could get hit by a truck, struck by lightning, or shot down in a random and senseless act of violence.

I lifted this video from an entry in All That Shnazz, a great blog by Alexei, a very talented writer and photographer friend of mine.

I just thought it seemed appropriate. And my takeaway? Life is short. Sparkly, twinkly and cosmically magic, but short. Spend your time doing what you love and what makes you happy with people you like, respect and also make you happy. Oh, and roast as many chickens as you damn well please.


  1. It's 5am here and this entry made me crave for chili and roast chicken. oh, and eclairs.

  2. Are you saying my cat looks like some sort of cream puff? But hey, go for it (say it with me, now...), life is short.