simple and right
by crustacean island
First thing in the morning, postponing my departure from the cocoon of covers, I usually spend a good five minutes thinking about what I’ll have for breakfast. Cataloging my cupboards (how much cereal is left? do i have milk? what about bread? yes, but is there butter? what am i working with in terms of leftovers? are there any olives left?), thinking about coffee versus tea (and french press vs. filter…), cooking times, afternoon plans. Do I have any fruit? No, but there’s juice. When am I going to be eating lunch? What kind of cheese do I have? Would that go better melted or on the side?
This morning I went with french press coffee and steamed milk, turkified french toast (skillet-grilled bread with cinnamon and pine honey), and a bastardized omelet (not fluffy enough for scrambled eggs but not, in good conscience, a true omelet). Now I get to think about lunch…leftovers, always reassuring.
It’s been raining hard in Muğla for days. Televised news features sternfaced reports about flooding and power outages, which are so woven into the fabric of daily life they go by almost unnoticed here. My supply of firewood is out and I can’t collect more for the rain, but I’ll order some tomorrow. It’s bright and sunny, just bright, but still raining. It’s splitting off the pavement in shards.
Last night there was a little earthquake, just a tiny thing, 2.5, a swaying on the couch. In the spring there was a relatively big one centered about two hours east of Muğla; I was lying on the beach when it happened, and it felt like someone shaking me in bed. Bewilderment, not fear – I wonder if that’s a midwesterner’s naive response. Would I react differently if I’d been raised in an earthquake zone, or is sleepy neck-craning curiosity the natural human reaction to a gentle sandy jolting?
my mom forwarded me this zadie smith article from the nyrb, “joy,” examining the relationship between pleasure and joy. this seems simple and right:
I seem to get more than the ordinary satisfaction out of food, for example—any old food. An egg sandwich from one of these grimy food vans on Washington Square has the genuine power to turn my day around. Whatever is put in front of me, foodwise, will usually get a five-star review. … “Don’t say that was delicious,” my husband warns, “you say everything’s delicious.” “But it was delicious.” It drives him crazy. All day long I can look forward to a popsicle. The persistent anxiety that fills the rest of my life is calmed for as long as I have the flavor of something good in my mouth. And though it’s true that when the flavor is finished the anxiety returns, we do not have so many reliable sources of pleasure in this life as to turn our nose up at one that is so readily available.