Pavane (The Sibelius Chronicles)

This is my 500th post here! Also entering my seventh year, I think, of blogging here. It is not my oldest blog, but it is one that I have managed to drag about consistently, surprising myself at times, knowing my tendency to migrate myself about when it comes to blogging or journalling activities online.

Sibelius came with the rains. It could be worse, he tells me, as I serve him peppermint tea and try to get the mud off his boots. At least, he didn’t bring over the snow.

A nice Mexican dinner at a colleague’s home (cheese and chilis and much alcohol), coupled with some physical exertion, has left me well-fed and tired this weekend. I am in no mood for Sibelius’s hijinks. He manages to talk me into them nonetheless. Somehow, we end up getting new strings, which I had been putting off for the longest time, and playing Ravel’s Pavane very badly.

I made onion and cabbage bhaji,  which tastes nothing whatsoever like the street food in my hometown, or like my mother’s specialty rain dish served with hot tea. However, Sibelius doesn’t know any better, and he has no complaints.

Later, he made eggnog for us, and I swear again, to myself, that I will put myself on a no alcohol phase after the new year. My diet these days consists of alcohol, cranberry juice, tea, and coconut cake. It doesn’t sound ideal for my sorely neglected waistline. The cake is a marvel. It is delicious, buttery and soft, with browned coconut flakes forming a layer of yum on the top. It is surprising how well anything tastes when made for you by someone. In my easily imprinted duckling manner, I have taken to this delicacy with great affection. It does remind me of my curd-rice heydays, and my badam-milkshake days before that, where I had latched onto a single dish for months on end. My dietary preferences are likely a psychology major’s thesis topic wet-dream.

The kitchen is closed for the year now. There is plenty of spinach-carrot-pea-miso soup with noodles from today’s haphazard cooking to use up all the perishables in my refridgerator.

Now I have to start packing. There is so much emotional and mental packing to do, which leaves me procrastinating. I did draw some flowcharts and make a handful of tables. I feel better about that, at least. I know now what to do, even if I am still going to procrastinate about doing any of it.

I am less frazzled than I had been, though. I will be seen off, at least, and that matters to me. Regardless of the new administration, visa matters, and the uncertainties involved about trips international in nature, at least I will have someone to hug me off before I spend twenty odd hours on the plane, where I will have little distraction to keep me from dwelling on my life, my worries, family matters that tend to weight heavily on me in general, and my immediate and longer-term concerns. The questions of settling down, versus trudging on, the constant press of social and familial anxiety over my rather directionless foray through life, my own concerns about purpose and meaning – all of these are heavy everyday, and heavier over the holiday season.

I am sitting here drinking tea now, and I am thinking about Maurice Ravel, who smoked a lot, and was a dandy, and managed to make beautiful music despite all of that. Surely, I can get somewhere too, then.