Pumpkin Polenta Recipe with Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

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Vegetarian pumpkin polenta with salsa fresca.

The first gifts of Fall have arrived. Time to dig out the Crock Pot and your favorite flannel shirt. If you can find it, that is. It’s got to be around here somewhere, right? You used it wore it to death last year. Or was that the year before?

The harvest moon is playing tricks with your memory again. The crows outside in the oak trees caw like the crows in tomorrow’s dream. Days turn into weeks and lunch turns into next month’s breakfast. Hours spill through worm holes of time like so many episodes of Lost. And the Buddha imagines the universe. And gets it close to right.

We’re talking atoms, people. Particles of teeny tiny specks of even tinier teenier fragments of a single point of something so small the naked eye perceives it as invisible. Yet the Buddha perceived this. In 528 BC.

I ponder this as I walk in a stream of brittle bronze oak leaves.

The succession of days that adds up to a life is only a blink. The moment when you started reading this sentence is already the past. You think about this stuff as you get older. When you squint into your future you see a shorter slope than the path that winds behind you. It can cause a slippery sense of vertigo. A tipping sideways melancholy that infuses every lost opportunity with meaning, bittersweet.

I remember a West Hollywood walk to the market past ninety-pound skateboarders and a gaggle of thin actors smoking outside the Lee Strasberg Institute. I think about the Russian speaking men with impossibly sad eyes brushing past me, their impeccably groomed wheat-blonde wives carrying shopping bags of kale. I smile at the memory of my brown-eyed neighbor sitting on his front wall listening to Miles Davis on a transistor radio.  

Great music, I tell him, feeling myself altering my cadence to the beat. It’s JAZZ, Baby! he shouts, laughing as I pass by. I feel his joy in my chest. And I know he is exactly right. This whole life thing? This whole circuitous method of survival called living?

It’s jazz, Baby.

And you just gotta go with it.

 

Karina xox

 

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