Stir fry technique needs to be improved when tossing a dish with a sauce; I managed to hit myself a bit and thankfully not burn myself. The seasoning of the wok has definitely had its effect at making it nonstick! I fried this eggplant dish I’ve done two times now and the first time I did it on my wok the eggplants stuck to it while frying, but now they all moved freely. It’s great fun to stir fry things and I’m so far very happy with getting the wok!
It’s a strange week as a few friends of mine in the program are getting their PhDs. It’s bittersweet because I’m happy for them, but sad because this signals that they won’t be here next year. It’s also strange because it signals such a transition will be coming for me as well soon. Reminds me, in a way, of Sebald’s writings about Dunwich. How things can seem static, but are changing over time. This makes me muse about the different scales that this occurs on - plate tectonics being one essentially incomprehensible to us and stellar evolution even more incomprehensible. But somethings change so quickly that the change is more normal to us. Melting ice for example, or a meal right before consumption. We’re used to change in some context, and perhaps our comfort with it is related to how quickly the change occurs for any given thing? We cannot delay our hunger so we must be at ease with consuming new meals each day, but we can’t do much about the decay of our land or the sun, so we just have to forget about it and pretend it isn’t happening (which we can do because it won’t affect us in our lifetimes. Any given generation of people will not have to worry about it in the future until some point where things start to decay in ways that we probably cannot understand now. Hard to think about and maybe better to not think about?).
There was an interesting dialogue in The Sopranos about death: “Why were we given the ‘gift’ of knowing that we will die?”. Tony claimed to be ok with dying so long as it was for a heroic cause, but I wonder how much he sincerely felt that or if it was a superficial belief that is within his code of honor. Part of what has made The Sopranos so interesting to me is how it shows Tony say things to his therapist that contradict his true feelings but are only said because they are “what you do” to his code of honor derived from the mob of what is just. It reminds me of how Samurai acted based on what I read in the Hagakure. Holding onto one of these creeds as a way of answering the question of death seems to me to be a bit fake as you’re not really addressing the question and just accepting what someone else thought about the subject. I think it’s just how people allow themself to cope with the idea. They accept some piece of information that for the most part does not really affect them (when are you going to die a heroic death? It just sounds nice to say) which allows them to put it in the back of their mind and live their lives.
Some more of The Rings of Saturn. Learned about an incredible palace that Kublai Khan had constructed where Beijing is in the present - apparently the best judged quality evergreen trees where imported wholly from many miles away to make the palace. It’s too bad we don’t have any real way of seeing how it actually was. Also had this poem recommended as a meditation on the natural dissolution of life with Dunwich as a metaphor.