Another Slow Lazy Saturday


I love the slowness of Saturday mornings, especially when Peter is not on call and the girls are either away or still sleeping.  This morning, I made us Mexican omelette with red jalapeño, cilantro, avocado and Mexican cheese, and Peter made us coffee with condensed milk. 

Many years ago — I think it was in the mid 90s — I read a book called Slowness by Milan Kundera about the sensuality that had been lost with the incredible speed with which everything seemed to be done in contemporary life.  The idea resonated with me then.  How can anything be sensual if we are only concerned with efficiency?  Since the 90s, we have sped up much more with the constant connectivity and the feeling that opportunities might be lost if we don’t check our emails the second it arrives, or keep doing 10 different things all at once.  Everyday, I see people checking their phones at stop signs or red lights.  And sometimes, I do it myself. 


Today, Peter and I took our time eating, glancing at the headlines of the morning paper, talking about whatever came to mind, or simply enjoying the food in silence.  Food tastes so much better when you eat slowly, savoring every bite.  We talked about Ida, a stunning Polish film that we watched together last night.  Compared to most film and TV shows seen on the screen today,  Ida was striking and indelible in its stillness, simplicity and sparseness of words.  The film looked cold and grey, yet it was boiling with deep emotions.  This film will stay with me for a very long time, while I have forgotten so many seemingly exciting spectacles the minute I finished watching them.  Speed is never good for remembering.  Stillness.  That’s what’s missing in the speed of today’s life.  And silence.


Still from Ida

Speaking of stillness and silence, I want to share with you a Naruda poem called Keeping Quiet — an ode to stillness in this busy and sped-up life. 


by Pablo Neruda


Now we will count to twelve

and we will all keep still.


For once on the face of the earth,

let’s not speak in any language;

let’s stop for one second,

and not move our arms so much.


It would be an exotic moment

without rush, without engines;

we would all be together

in a sudden strangeness.


Fisherman in the cold sea

would not harm whales

and the man gathering salt

would look at his hurt hands.


Those who prepare green wars,

wars with gas, wars with fire,

victories with no survivors,

would put on clean clothes

and walk about with their brothers

in the shade, doing nothing.


What I want should not be confused

with total inactivity.

Life is what it is about;

I want no truck with death.


If we were not so single-minded

about keeping our lives moving,

and for once could do nothing,

perhaps a huge silence

might interrupt this sadness

of never understanding ourselves

and of threatening ourselves with death.

Perhaps the earth can teach us

as when everything seems dead

and later proves to be alive.


Now I’ll count up to twelve

and you keep quiet and I will go.



Mexican Omelette

Ingredients for each omelette:

2 large eggs + 2 egg whites (beaten with a pinch of salt)

olive oil cooking spray

1/4 cup cilantro, minced

1/4 cup Mexican cheese blend

1/2 red jalapeno, minced

1/4 avocado, diced

1/4 teaspoon salt


Spray non-stick pan with oil on medium high heat.  Pour egg mixture into pan and let it cook for 15 to 20 seconds.  Add all the vegetable and cheese on top of the egg and cook for another minute.  Using spatula and fold the omelette into a roll.


3 thoughts on “Another Slow Lazy Saturday

  1. Hi, Joan!

    I’m a huge fan of yours. Being a teenager in the 80s, it was so inspiring to see an Asian face on the screen, a gorgeous and talented one at that. It was such a rarity then. And sadly, we’re still underrepresented.

    Just wanted to say that I love the poetic nature of your blog from the quotidian to your reflections on the arts. After a long day at work, I always look forward to reading your blog posts. Thanks so much for your continued inspiration.


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