Monday, January 4, 2010

The Jazz Kitchen

Oil pop, pop, popping, mushrooms, carrots, snap peas, shrimp big as butterflies, spicy chicken, red chilies’ flung in a huge steel pan, dancing together like a hot cha, cha, cha. That symphony of image and scent, going down on a Saturday Texas night. Like jazz with maracas thrown in. No, not a concert, but sitting ringside at a Japanese eatery, savoring the show. We only got the seats because tables were full. Just what I wanted but didn’t know it. Life is providential that way. Even in little things.

As I watched those chefs like players in a boisterous garage band, spicing, tossing, clattering and fine tuning, each part of the whole, producing with little effort, I thought of muses. Great kitchen muses up and pinching them with music, and plumes of aroma’s, they in the vortex. When smoking dishes were finally placed under our noses, the food almost felt anointed. And I’m not kidding. I ate slow and appreciated every decadent bite. If only I could remember to savor the everyday when I rise, shower, love, write, cook, clean, and read. To feel and see and hear subtle notes unfolding to a sticky, sweet, spicy crescendo. I will try to remember.

But now to the fortune cookie.

To find the hidden message the sugary golden cookie must be snapped open. I’m as anxious to do this as an enthralled little kid, digging in a Lucky Charm box and pulling up pots of gold, or four leaf clovers, or a wee rainbow. I was that kid. Still am some days. And, ahem… surely some will remember the surprises in the Cracker Jack boxes, back when our spin on the world was fresh as a bright blue lyric.

Here’s the reveal in that crisp cookie:GREAT ACTS OF KINDNESS WILL BEFALL YOU IN THE COMING MONTHS. Yeah, I know it’s cheesy, but this one made my heart leap. Don’t we all need this message? Without this our notes would flat line, both on the giving and receiving end. Anyway, I saved it. Put it in my tiny box with the others. I will pull those out from time to time, when notes go flat and I remember the unseen on a level close to song.