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Baklava Inspired Cream Fondant
Image by yummysmellsca
Made a "baklava" flavoured cream fondant for no reason (other than to have an ingredient for holiday gifts later in the year). Between the honey, amber agave nectar, rosewater, cinnamon and walnuts, it’s a HEAVENLY concoction that really does evoke memories of the Mediterranean pastry!
Image by solarisgirl
Great book! And again, sf saves me from drowning in visual entertainment ( Movies and series are nice too – but they are a totally different way of enjoyment. Once you have even glimsed the richness that books can offer you – it’s difficult to give it up and settle for movies. ). Last time it was Ender’s Game that saved me and the time before that – it was Blindsight. This time I had not read a book since 3 months , except for some light historical romance. Then I started Phantoms in the Brain ( which was nice but but slow ? and I gave up). Stumbled on the movie trailer of Annihilation and saw it and I loved the movie. When I read it’s based on a book, I was excited and bought it immediately. Missed half a day of work due to late night reading but was totally worth it. Such a great story and great style of writing! Million thanks to VanderMeer for writing this!
It’s been long since I was so addicted to a book series and I’ve started with the second book in the trilogy – Authority – today which seems promising too!
I marvelled at the fact that I had been given such a gift: not just to lose myself in the present moment so utterly but also to have such solitude, which was all I had ever craved during my studies, my practise to reach this point.
That’s how the madness of the world tries to colonize you: from the outside in, forcing you to live in its reality.
A ghost bird might be a hawk in one place, a crow in another, depending on the context. The sparrow that shot up into the blue sky one morning might transform mid-flight into an osprey the next. This was the way of things here. There were no reasons so mighty that they could over ride the desire to be in accord with the tides and the passage of seasons and the rhythms underlying everything around me.
If I don’t have real answers, it is because we still don’t know what questions to ask. Our instruments are useless, our methodology broken, our motivations selfish.
Finished Authority and Acceptance too. Such a great story and it’s been a long time since I was so affected by a story.
Some interesting lines from Authority:
Have we been compromised by our own data? The answer is: Of course.
Belief in a scientific process only took you so far. The ziggurats of illogic erected by your average domestic terrorist as he or she bought the fertiliser or made a detonator took on their own teethering momentum and power. When those towers crashed to the earth,they still existed whole in the perpetrator’s mind and everyone else’s too- just for different reasons.
A circle looks at a square and sees a badly made circle.
To analyze certain things, an object must allow itself to be analyzed, must agree to it. Even if this is just simply by way of some response, some reaction.
And some lines that I liked from Acceptance:
"What’s wrong with questions?"
"Nothing." Everything.Once the questions snuck in, whatever had been certain became uncertain.Questions opened the way for doubt.
Perhaps a copy could also be superior to the original, create a new reality by avoiding old mistakes.
But most nights you can almost believe you are a trucker, and that these people are your sort-of friends.
Sometimes, too, other people gave you their light, and could seem to flicker, to be hardly visible at all, if no one took care of them. Because they’d given you too much and had nothing left for themselves.
Would that not be the final humbling of the human condition? That the trees and birdss, the fox and the rabbitt , the wolf and the deer… reach a point where they do not even notice us, as we are transformed.
So we give up. We live on the island, make ourselves hats out of leaves, take bounty from the sea. Build a house from the ribs of one of the leviathans from his dreams. Listen to homemade dance music while drinking moonshine distilled from poisonous weeds. Turn away from the real world because it doesn’t exist anymore.
A whale can injure another whale with its sonar. A whale can speak to another whale across sixty miles of ocean. A whale is as intelligent as we are, just in a way we can’t quite measure or understand. Because we’re these incredibly blunt instruments.
"If you took away the insane people, no one would be left."
"Except me, except me and, maybe, you."
"Except the birds and the deer and the otter."
"Except the hills and the lakes."
But what if you discover that the price of purpose is to render invisible so many other things?
What if an infection was a message, a brightness, a kind of symphony? As a defense? Am odd form of communication? If so, the message had not been received, would probably never be received, the message buried in the transformation itself. Having to reach for such banal answers because of a lack of imagination, because human beings couldn’t even put themselves in the mind of a cormorant or an owl or a whale or a bumblebee.
Later Whitby will regale you with information on how quantum mechanics impacts photosynthesis, which is all about "antenna receiving light and antenna can be hacked", about how "one organism might peer out from another organism but not live there," of how plants "talk" to one another, how communication can occurr in chemical form and through processes so invisible to human beings that the sudden visibility of it would be "an irreparable shock to the system."
"I told my mom this is a school, too, but that didn’t work. "
"The tidal pools. The forest. The trails. All of it."
"The only solution to the environment is neglect, which requires our collapse."
They walked for a long time, throwing pebbles in the air.
The letter at the end really touched me for some inexplicable reason – I re-read it multiple times and it was as evocative as the last letter by Robert Frobisher or even the letter written by Christopher McCandless to Ron at the end.
Somehow the part of walking while throwing pebbles in the air or the part where it is suggested that the other beings do not even notice us reminded me of that wonderful story in Roadside Picnic. And the part of the trees talking and it being incomprehensible to us – a small reminder to The Hidden Life of Trees.