5

épices
the saigon vegan

Spices have this magical ability to makes everything feel like home.

Sweets that are the most mouthwatering, are the ones that one can smell and taste a little bit of cinnamon as it creates this territory where everything around us no longer seems to matter, like everything stops existing for just a fragment of a second. And maybe, I guess maybe that is how we come to understand the concept of being in the present, of being aware of our own existence.

Food has that hidden magic that requires us to pay the utmost attention to the most important simplicity of life. I am mindful. I am grateful. Baking, like all types of art, requires one’s mind to move beyond the widely accepted norm as one needs the courage to be bold, to become the exception. I grew up with spices all around me, in almost every single traditional dish, but I only started to notice how unique my childhood had been when the idea of my first home became out of touch.

Food is the bridge that connects my two separate worlds, a world where the concept of having the artistic taste is sadly unfamiliar, and the other where stories are transformed into each ingredient, and then all woven into a culture of love, belonging and authenticity. I believe in faith, to such an extreme extent as my life has always been led towards that direction since I was born. Of course, I could not remember how it all started as memory is such a fickle thing and everything before the age of 5 has become non-existent. But I remember, vividly, that when I decided to step out of my little bubble, my story started to belong to me.

deuxième confinement, november

It is always mine, I imagine. And then, I got to draw my first draft with no single clue in mind. But gradually, I get better, and better at it although it is still hard at times. That is how I met faith. And it gets stronger each time I finish my draft. Perfection is such a dangerous word in the English language since society has constructed so many meanings around this word that potentially do more harm than good. I no longer believe in such a thing.

I believe that there is no final editing. No final version.

We try. We pause. We make wrong moves. We feel useless. We feel abandoned. We feel not good enough. We feel like we are nothing.

We question our own existence. We fall into the trap of the universe. We stay there long enough. Then we reflect. We reflect. And eventually, we stand up and build up something new, something that belongs, truly belongs to us. Sometimes, the voice of the crowd might have affected us, to such a strong extent that we have to stop to wonder whether we should compare ourselves more to others as it is believed to be the best way to feel challenged and to grow. Should we?

Whose story is it anyway?

At the end, it is not about what matters most in life, but more about what matters most to us. Spices also thrive the most in an environment where they are greatly appreciated. The most delicious cakes are not the ones that make one feel the rush to finish in one single bite as more often than not, they are the ones that linger in one’s mind long enough to engage all of our senses all over again even in the absence of stimuli. It is driven by the sensation of life, of taking the most rose-tinted elements of life, and then absorb them all in one single photographic take. And in a much simpler word, it is called a life with patience and humility.

coffeemakers – australia is where a love story began

philosophy of baking
3. at least

originality + curiosity
20./ 11

narratives

Sometimes, I do wonder whether it was pure luck that brought me here.

Other times, I wonder whether it was pure coincidence that brought me on a path where I was lucky enough to run into that many great individuals. And if given the right balance, I hope to be strong enough to take care of the rest of the journey. And almost every day, I wonder whether I think long and hard of all the lives that I have happened to know.

right person. right time.

We started to write our life scripts probably from a very young age. Then they got forgotten as we reach adolescence since it became the time for all the confusion and uncertainty. Then, our high school graduation was a chance to remind us of how important it was to record our early twenties as they were said to be the most memorable times in life before we started taking on “adult responsibilities.”

Such an enormous concept that seems to lead us into a terrifying state of existence than to help us prepare for the truth of being a responsible adult. But it is also during those times when our narratives become a malleable object that society takes over the power to change its shape every time we are at a lost point. Wonderfully crooked, one might say. Sometimes proudly indeed. And yet, we obey. We listen attentively.

And yet, we rewrite our narratives according to the lines provided by the other individuals. We forget to question, indeed. But I realize that it is alright to re-question the essence of those elements one day. And then, we rewrite again. And again until the process of “becoming” will undo itself. Only by then will we understand the word “unbecoming”.

la vérité
We grow up not necessarily to become someone, but to un-become the version of our earlier imaginary selves.

Narratives are the only weapons to find out the truth about our own existence. Narratives are the only way for us to go against the flow of our society, or of what we naively believed to be heading towards the ultimate definition of human progress. Narratives will win the battle against all labels in our lifetime. Narratives will help us reconstruct our existence, and help us find our meanings, the ultimate ones.

Narratives are ours. The work belongs to us. We are the only ones who possess the power to find out the answers. And it is my choice to follow this path.

the overrated meanings of everything. 25/1.

By engaging myself into the world of plants, I learn more about the secrets of life before I actually get lucky enough to meet someone. And then it is that someone who would teach me how to read the beauty of humanity through the presence of plants.

notes finished/ jan 7/ 2021.