Sunday, January 19, 2014


I am wooed today by offers of Old Holland Yellow Green (a tube of oil paint at the art store), sizzling seafood (a fragrant platter through the window of a Chinese restaurant), striped rubber boots (for children playing in the rain, or in the shallows at Shoreline, chasing the bobbing coots), a Siamese kitten sooty and possessed of an old soul.

I take my chilaquiles to campus, and finding the Rodin sculpure garden all in shade, settle for a picnic table in the sun near the old Chemistry building.  I haven’t had chilaquiles since I fell in love with them that Thanksgiving in Cancun, herding Slavic scholars to the Temple of the Jaguar and walking and walking on the turquoise shore.

But longer than the happy elements­—the Old English Sheepdog having his ears rubbed; the gluten-free baker with his earring singing along to “Puff, the Magic Dragon” while I watched the rounds of cornmeal masa being rolled and grilled and filled with meat or cheese—I’m carrying the annoyance with me of having been jostled by a rude teenager with two half-gnawed ice-cream cones;  being treated as not important, or invisible.  She had to be aware that I was standing there, out of her way, but didn’t care.  I’m still unduly ruffled by such a small thing.

Eventually the good Oaxacan spices and the sun between the oaks soothe my uncharitable soul.  Coffee, bicycles, academics dogwalking, the thought of Santa Cruz—the day is untroubled again.

image:  Chilaquiles, Latinofoodie


  1. some of your posts are like taking a lovely little trip.
    this one was!
    have never had chilaquiles. it looks wonderful.
    and the rude teenager...
    that kind of thing stays with me too.
    these are the people inheriting the world?
    the older i become the more invisible i become. interesting.

  2. It’s a struggle I’ve had all my life—to be quiet and true to myself without being overwhelmed by those who are noisier and more “out there.” In my writing, too. In their defense, the younger generations have little encouragement or opportunity to be mindful in the real world, ruled as they are by their distracting and offputting electronic devices.