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Particles and other particulate matter

April 5, 2010

The Korean language is rife with small words called particles that denote the case of a word and sometimes other information, such as the concept of “only” or “also” with respect to the word associated with the particle. One particular particle designates location, and the addition of another particle specifies the point of origin or site of an action. This is where Korean is my kind of language, because the site of action can be a library, or a magazine, or the Internet, or a school cafeteria. In other words, this Korean particle makes me feel like I can keep up with action somewhere.

Speaking of high action drama where one would scarce expect it, I have recently discovered the intrigue and zest of a spice blend called Chinese Five Spice. Cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, fennel, and star anise collaborate to utterly vanquish vapidity from stews, stirfries, and omelettes. Since my husband and I eat one thing for dinner for several months and then switch to a variation of the one thing, I now have Chinese Five Spice when it’s time for a break from herbes Provençal. With the onset of spring, I tried a radical shift from potee to stirfry, but stirfry is inimical to my diurnal pain rhythms. Cooking at dinner time simply doesn’t work; I need to prepare dinner in the early afternoon. So potee remains our mainstay, and spices provide most of the variation in our diet, while precious leaves of camellia sinensis, otherwise known as tea, keep me in comfort food. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine. — Ezekiel 47:12 (NKJV)


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