Tuesday, July 12, 2005
dumplings and death
Jiaozi. Gyoza. Potstickers. Dumplings. They're tasty no matter what name you call them. It's also the perfect late night snack... brings back fond memories of eating at various izakaiya with friends or with co-workers after work while I was in Japan. Good food to have alcohol with too.
My mom bought a huge bag of frozen dumplings from Costco recently, so I've been practicing my dumpling cooking skillz to get the right combination of crunchy on one side and soft on the other. The initial frying is easy; the determining factor seems to be the timing of adding water, how much water you add, and how long you leave them covered while the water is steaming. Too much water and they'll be soggy... too little water, and they'll be rock hard from over-frying. Keeping them under the cover for too long or too short a time can also have similar effects.
I got my technique down, though. Boo yeah.
I've always enjoy cooking for myself, but lately, even moreso. Being hungry is part of it; the other part being that cooking itself is a distraction that allows me to focus on the moment... and not on the future.
I would like to look forward to a lot of things, but at the moment, I just don't see them happening. Lately, my mind has become unable to visualize them.
The topic of death came up in this past evening's Bible study as we were talking about the prophecies and the doctrine of resurrection in the last book of Daniel. Everyone had their own reaction, but honestly, for a group of 20-something guys, all of whom are unmarried and still looking for permanent careers, it seemed like nobody really varied that much in their responses. Maybe because the stage of life we're at, we still retain a vestige of youthful ignorance of our own mortality.
Or maybe it's an attitude of indifference.
My own contact with death has made me more or less fatalistic about my own existence, rather than becoming a person who obsesses about whether or not I can prevent my own proverbial kicking-the-bucket. At this point in my life, if I were to die, I'm sure I'd regret a couple things - not getting married, not having kids, not traveling more around the world, not writing a book, not learning more languages... but I doubt I'd be kicking or screaming over my expiration.
Or in more ridiculous terms: At anytime the dumpling of my mortal existence is liable to be plucked off the plate of this planet and shoved into the gaping jaws of death, to grinded and chewed, swallowed into the digestion of the afterlife.
The unfairness of this world (it's familiar to me, after all) is such that I figure if God wants me to die, I'll be dead. Not much I can do about that... I just hope the manner of my passing isn't too protracted or shameful.
Hmmm...I'd say that there'd be some things that I would regret if I died tomorrow. Probably the only one that I could match up with your regrets is not having kids. But some of my regrets would be not going to Japan to teach English and learn Japanese, not doing a mission, not playing a part of helping our church to grow, not creating a video game, and not seeing my family come to know Christ.
I guess we'll never know the future. Sometimes, it can be hard to see what lies down the road. But looking back can show us how God was at work in our lives.
You have a lot potential to do great things. Everyone has that potential, no matter how big or small. But sometimes the hardest thing to do is to get started. I mean, how hard was it to start a paper in school? Or take that first step in some parts of life? It's not like that for everyone..true, but it seems like a lot of people are procrastinators. Including me.
Anyway, that's when you're given a task to do. Starting up something on your own takes more effort.
I think this is Shakespear, but I'm not sure. "Better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all." It could be summed up more generally in, "better to try and fail than to never try at all." Sometimes our fear of failure stops us from starting something up. But then again, that's not entirely true for everyone.
Anyway, I guess maybe this post was more for me...heh.
Okay, well, yeah, sometimes I get carried away.
But getting back to your post...things can be hard to see when they haven't been completed. But that doesn't mean that they won't come. Sometimes it will be given to us. Sometimes we'll have to work for it. In my opinion, things never come to us, we have to make the first step and follow through. Just starting something can be tough...but the rewards may be worth it. Or, the consequences may not be worth it.
I know, easier said than done.
hello Gar, thank you so much for your comments on my website. it's always nice to hear from a new visitor, especially one that can relate to my experiences. :)
i enjoyed reading your blog a lot. it's a pleasent discovery for me and i will for sure return. thanks again.
oh, by the way, your dumpling picture makes me hungary!
Death by dumplings.. what a provoking post. There are differences in dumplings, not in what you call them, but in what they put in 'em -- I've found mandoos and gyozas to be noticably less satisfying than Chinese dumplings and potstickers. I'm not real particular about the dough, recalling heated debates at home about how hand-made dough was far better than store-bought or frozen. Whatever.Post a Comment
On the death thing, yes, we have no existential control on when the proverbial "time is up" happens, but we sure do have a say in living a life that is blameless (not perfect, per se, but certainly a good reputation is within reach).