“It’s true that cilantro has a strange, strong flavor. People seem to love it or not like it at all. Even I didn’t like it at first when I had it in Peru. But I got used to it – it’s hard not to in South America – and now I can’t live without it.”
– Nobu Matsuhisa
Twice in the last couple of days I’ve heard someone complain about cilantro being the culinary equivalent of genocide.
I wondered if this was mere hyperbole. It was not.
Apparently the reason some people loathe it can be found in genes. Well, partly atleast.
While doing some research I came across a community of actual cilantro haters. They even had a section with haikus about their passionate hatred for this poor little herb.
“There are some ‘C’ words
more offensive than others
distasteful for sure”
This got me thinking two things:
1) It’s nice to see people have such a creative outlet to vent their frustrations.
2) What the fuck am I doing?
The second thought felt the strongest.
Do I really want to be spending my time on this shit? Sure, it’s funny and stuff but aren’t there more interesting things going on in the world?
For instance, after getting a message this morning and chatting for a while I went back to sleep.
I dreamt about taking a bus too far, disappointing people, being captured by a rebel group somewhere in Africa and other stuff I can’t remember.
Suddenly my grandmother made an appearance in the dream.
It’ll be 15 years since she passed away this September. I’ve only ever dreamt about her a handful of times. But this one was really vivid.
We were in the bedroom of her old apartment. The sewing machine by the window, the two beds on opposite sides of the room, the rug made out of old plastic bags, the rocking chair. Everything was just like it was when she was alive.
I can’t any words being exchanged. All I can remember was the feeling she was trying to convey. “It’s alright, kid. It’s alright.”
She gave me a hug and we just vibrated. It felt so real.
And just like that, I woke up. Happy and tears in my eyes. I’d experienced something I hadn’t felt for 15 years. My grandmother’s embrace.
The day she passed away I received a call from my mom who was at the hospital. She told me she didn’t think grandma had much time left.
I was a pissed off teen and so caught up in my own shit I forgot about the time and missed the bus.
When I arrived at the hospital there was a sign on the door to grandma’s room that said “Do Not Disturb”. So, I thought maybe they’d moved her somewhere else.
I went to the nurse and asked her about it. She escorted me towards the room with the sign on the door and I just broke.
It really bothered me that I didn’t get to say goodbye properly. To be honest, I don’t even remember the last time I saw her alive. All those hospital visits blend together.
That was what was running through my head while reading about cilantro.
“What the fuck am I doing? I could be doing literally anything else!”
So, I got on the phone and called my mom. Please stop the “Aaw!”-ing.
My sisters kid answered so I talked to him for a bit. Then mom got on the line and I asked her about her day. As always she could tell there was something more so she cut the crap and said: “What is it?”
So, I told her about the dream I’d had and that I couldn’t really figure it out. I mean, I’d dreamt about grandma before but it was never this real.
That’s when she said it.
“I think she wanted to come back and tell you that it’s alright that you weren’t there when she passed. She wants you to know she’s still with you.”
We talked for something like 45 minutes about everything from spirituality to pools to love to shitting your pants. I do not wish to publicly embarrass anyone, so please don’t ask about that last one.
What I’m getting at here is this. Maybe I needed to waste the time looking at haikus about cilantro to truly appreciate the time I get to spend with the people I love.
It’s so easy to miss out on moments when we take them for granted. I used to think that calling every Thursday or going over for dinner twice a month was enough.
I mean, we keep busy and stuff. We need to meet different people and have different experiences so that we can share something new when we get together.
But what about all those moments we spend on pure bullshit that simply does not matter?
I want to get better at spotting them and just stepping away. Instead turning my attention to and connecting with the people that I love.
How often do you catch yourself doing this? Do you have any filtering system to avoid it?
Let me know in the comments and hit me up on Twitter.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!