Sunday, August 18, 2019

Callaloo and Aki

Misty morning.  Rainy night.  Out and the porch I can’t see beyond the tree lines.  Marley was well profiled yesterday at the local Jamaican restaurant.  I’d drove into the parking lot before the wine store and noticed it sitting there. Earlier I’d decided against a burrito.  I’d make do with whatever leftovers were around. But staring out at the sign, and the neon “Open” beneath it I figured I’d give it a try.  We don’t have Jamaican roti in my neighborhood in Beijing. 

Turns out they don’t have them here, either.  Well, not today.  They can do me a goat curry wrap, which sounds like a winner, and I suppose I try the Jerk chicken, if only for the name, as I can’t really place the taste.  Callaloo and Aki are food names that wind up in Jamaican music, but I couldn’t tell you want they are.  Discussing with menu with a woman who certainly didn’t hail from Jamaica, she politely corrected me, no, callaloo was not a conch or a whelk but a green vegetable, like a collard green and no, it was not just a local patois name for a ‘collard green’, but rather it is distinct plant, the callaloo.

An enormous Afro Caribbean gent was standing at the bar, waiting for his order.  He smiled at me and looked oddly like Howlin’ Wolf the moment he did.  A quiet gent by his side looking more like Phil Collins, was waiting on the same order.  On the walls, were three different posters of Robert Nesta Marley.  One, he was seated, strumming a Les Paul.  On the opposite wall he’s playing soccer and every song that comes on, is a Marley song, which is fine, but one assumes there is a multitude of Jamaican interests the owner has chosen not to share, beyond all this Marley hagiography. 

Gene Harris and the Three Sounds is new to my ears.  The album titled “Elegant Soul” lives up to the claim.  Spacious, confident I like everything but the strings from the outset.  Tired this morning.  Up early and now I want to go back to bed.  I have so much to do.  Coffee then to clear up this misty morning. 

Sunday, 08/18/19

Flashes Now Up and Over

Clouds have come.  For now, they are light and fluffy.  But later after the sun goes down there are flashes of light in the distance and it’s clear that a wet and highly charged front of moisture is heading this way.  Soon, this porch I’m sitting on will be very, wet indeed.  But for now, it’s just a remarkable light show.  And the wind and the pulsing chill and humidity have sent all the hovering mosquitos to someplace less turbulent.  In full disclosure, sitting here on my porch with the electricity charged in the air, and my lap top resting on my groin, I have wondered whether or not, one of those electric charges might not just find its way to a grounding right here in the lap of your humble writer.

There, off to the right.  That was a real flash.  It was closer.  The others have been mere hints.  There is not space any longer between the cloud cover.  Ooh off to the right there is another strong flash, but it is high up.  Very far.  And now the first discernable thunder, another.  Now all the points in the horizon are lighting up.  There is a lot going on out there.  This must have been so completely awe-inspiring to the people who lived here without the truisms of science to and the confidence of shelter to dispel the force of nature.

Odd, to be alone before miles and miles of raw nature.  That never seems to happen, home in Beijing.  Nature intrudes, but people are impossible to do away with.  If it begins to pour, I imagine my first course of action will be to rescue my lap top.  Only then will I return for the chair and the foot rest cushion that I’m using just now.  They’ve been wet before.  They’ll be wet again.  But I can’t so easily replace my lap top. 

I tried a Pinot Noir from Portland tonight celebrate my older daughter.  Next week she will settle down there.  What a remarkable gal she is.  So mightily proud.  This Argyle appellation is from the Willamette River Valley which I can vaguely place, from a time long ago I went there. Looking now, it is the River that flows through Portland, so I’ve seen it more recently than all that.  So much changing, so quickly just now.  You know it will change fast for your children. But you don’t assume it will necessarily have the same affect upon you.   

There are some violent flashes now up and over the Gunks.  Mohonk must be seeing some drama, off towards the Catskills there beyond the peak.  But here, it doesn’t seem like this storm will ever arrive.  If it clears, I can look for the Big Dipper.  Now the thunder is coming from a different direction.  And it sounds closer.  Here it comes now.

Saturday 8/17/19