Woke up feverish and headachey, some passing virus or recurrence of an old bout of malaria. Found a Kikkoman packet of dried miso soup in the back of the store cupboard and I shall mince some new garlic and snip spring onions, grate a little ginger. That combination of powdered red miso, dehydrated kelp and dried bonito flakes in boiling water is reviving, full of umami. Although thousands might not agree, since miso is an acquired taste for us in the West. In order to give miso a chance, you have to use the best miso paste or powder available, the cheap miso mixes have a spongy bitter aftertaste.
The best reading to accompany miso soup is Haruki Murakami or Kenzaburo Oe, but if I get those rhythms and strange masterful analogies into my head, the piece I am writing will just gravitate towards imitation. Maybe I should just read some more editorial on the American election primaries, which are zanier than any sci fi novel could be. Our politics out here thrive on weirdness, so I don’t know why I should be surprised that politicians elsewhere take a walk on the wild side.
A friend who lives two streets away called to say she has a splitting hangover after celebrating the sale of her house. She isn’t an alcoholic as far as I know and that house has been on the market for two years. I have no problem with people drinking or drinking to excess on the odd occasion: it is none of my business and I’m not puritanical about those able to let rip once in a while. Brightly suggested some miso soup to help clear her head.
The garden needs weeding, the floor of the kitchen could do with a mopping, there are blogs to read, dishes to wash, meals to plan. Dogs to walk. Emails to answer. Any activity except writing has a certain urgency. An article on writer’s procrastination from the funny and truthful AL Kennedy:
Robert Louis Stevenson once said that he didn’t like writing, he liked having written. And I think I know how he felt. The act of writing is delightful, once you’ve entered into the proceedings, it’s simply that – like many other intimate, involving and tiring activities – writing creates nervousness, fumbling and an intense desire to run away before it can really take a hold.
Post-miso feedback: the hungover friend called to say in a petulant dissatisfied tone that she found the soup fishy, horribly salty and disgusting. But she does feel better. Soup, glorious soup. Now I have no more excuses to keep me from the next chapter or scene, unless the doorbell rings or a Person from Porlock wanders down the street.