i like typing tik tak tik tak

i just ate an artichoke…i think i have more emotions concerning this than the average person, actually i’m sure, and a lot of thoughts, but i don’t feel like trying to compartmentalize them into words…but i will say it’s one of my very favorite entities on the planet.  anyway, i wrote last week on one of those rare days that there wasn’t much else to do….

browsing pictures the other night, i chanced upon a photo from my cross-state visit to america last summer in which one of my best, long lost american pals and I sold organic vegetables from a stand at a farmers market while his friend, the farmer himself, ran errands.  colorful chard, mixed baby greens in bags, two types of kale, and bright pink and blazing yellow radishes were sprawled across the table before me, the fruit of labor, edible glories of the earth, waiting to be shared with its people via a bio-degradable non-plastic bags.   with genuine enthusiasm i promoted those vegetables, eager to spread the happiness they gave me.

there are only two recent times that i recall feeling fully, uninhibitedly myself.  one was during a small halloween gathering back at pratt for which i dressed up as a glittering forest fairy.  as i twirled in my raggedy, whimsical dress and waved my sparkly wings, felt almost as if i was meant to be one (i promise that no alcohol was involved, and i cannot explain that phenomenon except perhaps that it was a means of returning to the fantastical desires of childhood).  the other was that at the vegetable stand in michigan.  currently my two greatest dreams, that of planting and that of cooking, were connected to the experience yet distant, as i was only selling the raw product, but that in no way detracted from the pure joy of the experience.  i love vegetables!  i love them more than almost anything else!  vegetables enliven me like sports or art or music do for others-the allure of their colors and shapes sometimes even causing my heart to flutter.  i am filled with awe at the variety of beauty that seeps out of plain brown soil – not only does each have a unique and artfully designed look, but unlike flowers (can’t stand the things-never ever give them to me…they’re like having a fish as a pet; you just give and give and it never gives back), each possesses a taste that no other specimen can duplicate.  genius.  i’d like to devote a good chunk of my time to getting to know these beauts.  my earlier revelation of wanting little more in life than to dwell in this land, to love a family i will start, to help others, and to encounter fresh vegetables every day of my life still stands, and my envisioned path of arrival to that destiny, while still unclear, is becoming a tad less fuzzy.

that photograph tipped the scales and – at least in the mean time – put an end to my vacillation regarding the order and subject of my studies: if i would earn a government funded degree before or after culinary school, and in what subject.  i’ve come to the conclusion that i must attempt some sort of vegetable related education-either botany or agronomy or maybe even food science, i’ll decide once i figure out exactly what the difference is and in which locations i can learn each subject-and then later work my way into the culinary arts world.  in fact, the more i dwell on my passion for produce, the less important the idea of an actual restaurant and culinary career seems to me, the emphasis moving to the simple concept of a place for people to enjoy the vegetation of this earth, perhaps even in the embodiment of a home or guesthouse.

i also had questions about where i would live during my learning, leaning towards the idea of a city, probably jerusalem, where i could easily gain experience in food preparation by working in restaurants after school.  someone slightly ruined my plans by sharing with me the fact that he lives on a kibbutz in the golan which receives relatively generous snow fall every year.  now that i know of such a wonderland’s existence, it is hard for me to deny myself such an accessible luxury, even at the cost of sacrificing three years of culinary skill improvement, having to compromise by working at some cheap, badly decorated catastrophe in the north.   if i had about a billion shekels i’d put it all towards changing the humdrum gastronomical landscape of the most northern cities of israel, but for now that stereotype holds true to the character of the area.  actually, the snow is only an excuse; kibbutz life in the north simply beckons me.  the kitschy, unrealistic, iconic zionist daydreams of picking oranges that once haunted me in college have not left, and after three years in this country, i have yet to test their authenticity.  i must at least taste that lifestyle and that area, even if i end up hating the whole institution and decide to move to tel aviv.  the period in which i plan to once again embark on a higher education seems to me the perfect opportunity; i could live on a kibbutz which, according to the snow-blessed gentlemen i previously mentioned, is just a bicycle ride away from a nice little college not too far from the northern border.  i can already hear the low purr of the wheels, feel the wind slap a missed lock of hair into my face as i whiz through the air on a yellow bike with a basket in which books about the romantic secrets of vegetables, hidden within cryptic equations and deceivingly dull academic ramblings, will accompany me on my travels each morning.  i think i’ll put streamers on it.

the funny thing about attempting to shape my future is not that it may not turn out exactly how i envision it-i acknowledge that it most likely will pan out quite differently – but that i may not make it to the chance of advancing in life at all.  i hate to be a drag, but i could die today, or tomorrow, or the next, and all of this fantasy will not resemble the course of my existence in the slightest.  with hope i look forward to the future, with anticipation and excitement, but life is fragile and volatile, and what’s left of mine could all be lost in the blink of an eye.  god willing, this will not happen, but i must keep a realistic perspective underneath my optimistic outlook.  yes, quite optimistic it is.  everyone has dreams – i am no different than the rest of the human race – yet but a handful of us ever attain them in any significant magnitude.  realized dreams are the makings of the true stories eventually ending up in black and white print between colorful binding or reenacted glamorously across the silver screen.  they are engaging plots because they are uncommon, because fulfilling aspirations is a scarce happening.  yet as unusual as these instances are in reality, there is not a  human heart on the face of this planet in which the desire for the fruition of such dreams is not found.  so i am one of them, one of those humans.  the odds on one hand are against me: the vast majority of individuals drudge through often disappointing, tedious lives of compromised dreams and crushed aspirations.  on the other hand, the odds are in my favor:  i aspire only to work with vegetables, not to become a rock star.  what a funny little westernized society i live in.  somewhere in the third world an impoverished, unskilled farm worker dreams of living in america, receiving education, becoming a super star or business tycoon;  now i, educated and talented in largely unrelated fields, raised in the land of opportunity, dreams only of menial labor in the fields of a bizarre country in the middle east.

i suppose the idea isn’t so new.  though i remember little from two years of nap time/art history class, i recall the pastoral scenes of the rococo movement which romanticized, and not to mention gave a good bath and shave to the common shepherd, and the images from a different movement which featured impoverished peasants gathering grain, elevating their simple way of live to that of godliness.  a bit of shame arises within me at the thought that if only i would have been paying better attention while the projector slides turned those two years, i might remember the period of time in which the latter paintings were made; 23 is a relatively young age to start regretting ones actions in life, a cue to stride wisely in the future.

it’s drizzling.  they sky’s current shades of faded grey and serene periwinkle calm me.   the faint but icy breeze, the lulling sway of the eucalyptus, the muddled noise of distasteful music behind closed doors, birds calling one to another, and flip flops flip flopping on gravel are all to me perfectly periwinkle too.

oh and here’s a few recent pics…

3 Responses to “i like typing tik tak tik tak”

  1. S Lloyd Says:

    Awesome reading.
    I am planning, in the future, to travel around the world and make a reportage of the best restaurants in each of the World’s many regional major cities. I have just completed this project with Montreal, Canada and it was a fun and informative work. Hopefully, I can do the same with the restaurants of your city. When you have a moment, please tell me what are the best top restaurants overthere (it can be fine dining. modern, traditional dining from all kind of cuisines as long as the restaurant stands out as the best, or more creative/popular of the pack).

  2. Adam Aharon Says:

    great pics

  3. Robin Says:

    I don’t know anyone who gets excited over food the way you do. I like it. In related news, I made cupcakes a couple days ago and want to share: make chocolate cupcakes, then glaze some cherries (cook them with a little sugar, add some cornstarch, let it thicken up, cool). cut little cone-shaped wells in the cupcakes. fill the wells with cherries, top with the cone you cut out. sprinkle with powdered sugar. feast.

    sending much love to you in the land of beautiful produce!

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