Monday, April 16, 2012

Tired Hands. Open Heart. Monk.

I wish I could capture it in one sentence, but I'm afraid I'm not a skilled enough writer to depict the thoroughness of my exhaustion with just one string of words. I'd have to describe, for instance, my eyes' finding no help even in the carefully polished lenses of my glasses, my feet wanting only to be bare, my spine begging to opt out of the resistance game it has played against gravity for so many consecutive hours... and maybe if I went on like this for one more paragraph, detailing every inch of my tired self, you would understand why even after polishing a bowl of pasta, a block of gorgonzola, and and a glass of Malbec, I still lie awake now writing. There is a degree of hunger that brings the loss of appetite, and a kind of tired that knows no sleep.

So I listen to piano and think about the many trips on foot and bike that I made between home, university, office, library, studio, and bank today to do what needed to be done. The pile of undergraduate literature essays that I only made a bit smaller, the many e-mails that still need to be sorted and answered. Allison's attendance mark has to be changed. My thesis adviser needs his book back. I need to buy a red pen. Did I leave my office window open?

My mom called me when I was making dinner tonight and I put her on speaker, explaining that I needed both hands to roll out the pasta dough that I had just cut into pieces and floured on both sides. She told me she likes that I never complain about being tired. I had to wrap that conversation up, clean my flour-dusted kitchen, and heat up some of the tomato sauce I still had left over from two nights ago. But as set the table for one, facing the open window of my kitchen, and poured myself a glass of wine I realized something. Maybe things like a fresh bowl of pasta, an open window, and a glass of wine after a day like this are why I find no need to complain. Sure, I can think of a few things that could improve, but for now I've got Thelonious Monk on, and I'm gonna reread Rilke's Orpheus poems and see what happens...

Basic Pasta (from Gennaro Contaldo's Passione)
makes pasta for one or two

75g 00 Flour (I buy mine from the Italian supermarket)
25g semolina
1 good egg (really. I mean it.)

Mix flour and semolina on a clean work surface or in a big bowl, and make a well in the middle. Break eggs in the well. With a fork or with your hands, gradually mix the flour with the egg until everything is mixed and lumpy. Knead until you get a smooth, soft dough. Form into a ball, wrap and leave for about 30 minutes or until you are ready to use.

Divide dough into 2 portions and put through pasta machine starting at the highest setting. As the pasta gets thinner, turn down the settings until you get to the thickness you desire. Depending on the sauce you may want thinner or thicker pasta. I like 2 or 3 on the setting scale. Use as much flour as you need to keep your pasta from sticking. The flour will wash off when you cook the pasta.

Dress your pasta with whatever you've got handy. Wine. Eat.


  1. How strange that a post about tiredness could take some of my day's tiredness away. Yes, sometimes all you need is a meal by the window, a glass of wine and a bit of Monk. Wonderfully written, Mina. Hugs to help with all things tiring and trying.

  2. You had me at the photo of Thelonious Monk. I haven't read a blog in a little while. Well done! Thanks!

  3. really beautifully written- and as someone ass tired - that really refreshed me. i could feel the window, wine, pasta, and music. Really lovely.

    1. this comment actually made me smile so hard because my own entry was FULL of spelling errors the first time i posted it. when we said TIRED we were not kidding eh? thanks for reading and taking the time to write me! xo

  4. oh dear that was "someone as tired....."


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