Work until the early hours
“HAY MÁS TIEMPO que vidaWas my dad’s refrain every time I was stressed and tired. “There is more time than life. His simple words had deep implications.
Being present in life is difficult. Life demands that we “lift up and creak.” The reward goes to those who make the most of the time that has been given to them. Time is money. Time is a commodity we trade. The promise of life is the goal of all this grinding – or retirement, if we’re privileged.
During the pandemic, I pushed against beliefs that haggle over time. I cooked the foods that fed my ancestors: tamales verdes, tamarindo atole and nopalitos. My senses were awakened by mixing the nixtamalized cornmeal with water and fat until it reached the right texture, peeling and seeding each tamarind pod, cutting the nopal (cactus) and by cooking it with a few tomatillo pods to remove the slime.
The preparation of these foods obliges me to notice the roughness of the cacti where the thorns still make their home, to smell the acid odor of the tamarind in the pulp clinging to my fingers; he invites me to play with the unruly dough that believes its place is above the corn husk and not inside. If death appears in separation, life germinates in connection.
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