The Maize and the Maze

The Maize and the Maze

At 5:15 AM the stomach growls and that two-day-old undercooked and partially eaten ear of maize is calling my name – each kernel a vice. "How do you like us now," they taunt. At first I thought that it’s al dente and chewy state made it unswallowable, and I good-naturedly teased the staff about it. I did my best to consume half, but vowed to save the rest in a plastic bag for later, it’s husks still intact.

I’m glad I did. Two days later, with it sitting unspoiled on my desk, I realize the brilliance of not "over cooking". If it had been boiled to the satisfaction of modern pallets, it would not have lasted this long. In hot climates without refrigeration, cooking maize to a point of softness is foolish. It won’t last through the day, and certainly not into the next. Here I am now, cherishing the fact that it was not overdone and enjoying the maw-ability and sweetness in a way previously unimaginable. Why anyone would need to cook it any further or add butter and salt is beyond imagination. Of course, in it’s partially cooked state, it requires more energy to digest, which makes it less fattening while still providing plenty of readily available carbohydrates. This is nature’s candy, formed of soil, water, sunlight, and, umm, sequestered atmospheric CO2. I am, at this moment, greatly appreciating the burst of energy provided by that biological alchemy, and, I imagine, indirectly, so are you.

The "maze" part of this rumination is figuring out where to go from here: Cook Less. Save the Climate.

….

One Amalgamation

A moment ago I heard what I thought was a bird inside the bungalow. Ha! It was only the dragon fly (I know previously I said firefly). It’s amazing how loud the wings are when they scuff against the stone wall in the creature’s frantic attempt to escape. They sound like plastic. And so the sounds and metaphors go round and round. We are all one poem, one benzene ring, one amalgamation.

…..

Uvuke N’jani

Clouds. Breeze. Kinki the cat. "Pet me." she says, "but don’t lift." Relentless pigeons, sawing time into units, and the distant clamor of cooks, behind stone walls, under thatched roofs, preparing English style breakfast in an African wilderness,

"Uvuke n’jani, N’do," I say to the chef.

"Good morning, Seth," N’do replies.

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