Chopsticks a cappella

The handwriting on the wall at Mr. Wu's is in beautiful calligrpahy.

Every now and then you feel like you have to be the luckiest person in the world– as if the moment you inhabit is a moment that was meant to be.  Sparkles of pixie dust swirl in the air like fireflies–and life is conjugated only into the present tense.

I’m part of an a cappella group and also part of a family business. Sometimes the two become one, like last night when we sponsored an a cappella series, and also performed in it as an opening act.

A cappella singers are singularly co-dependent, in a divine and magnificent way,  not just because their voices must balance and blend, but because of the way they rehearse–which is a very collaborative process. Much the same could be said of the family business. There’s no rulebook of procedures  from a distant and disembodied corporate. This  leaves plenty of leeway for the employees to approach their work creatively and to innovate  as a team.

Both the music that the singers make and the success of the business depend on the attentiveness of each individual to his own personal best– while at the same time  being mindful of  the rest of the group.

Truthfully, it’s a pretty good blueprint for being happy in life. Which may be why I was so content to be me last night.

After the  concert, since it was already after 10 p.m.,  our group and the L.A. group that we opened for decided to head to East Memphis for sushi.

We shared large boats of sushi,  and in the way of our music, each person ate dinner while  being considerate of everyone else, making sure that each person received some of everything.

It  occurred to me that with so many things going right, that it was a great time for a session of  Remedial Chopsticks 101.  Somehow I have never acquired the knack of the chopstick.  Mr. Wu says he uses them when he eats from a bowl, and uses a fork when he eats from a plate.

For sure there is a cool factor affixed to the expert manipulation of the chopsticks.

Spotting someone who seemed to be especially adroit, I asked to be coached in the ways of chopsticking. My mentor explained that Chopstick Number One should rest on my ring finger while thumbo weighted the stick against said ring finger. Then Chopstick Number 2  is held somewhat like a pencil with the middle finger acting as something as a fulcrum.

At least that is how I understood it. What I do not understand is why was easier for me to learn how to  hold the bow  in  perfect balance  and stroke it over the violin and get a mellow musical tone than it is for me to bring a piece of yellowtail to my mouth.

Never-the-less I persevered, sushi being a great motivator.

Tonight I will further my studies in the ancient art of chopsticking with Maestro Wu. After I  become expertly proficient, I then will track down someone like Jody Stephens to teach me how to twirl them like drumsticks so that I can dazzle my fellow diners with my chopsticking licks.

It was not until my tummy was full that I began to be somewhat troubled as to having deviated from the Wu menu, but as our group leader pointed out, Mr. Wu would not have an issue with me eating fish.

Still, I continued to moan the moan of the damned  that I had surely  transgressed by partaking  of the forbidden white rice.

He proffered his personal  judgment, one in which mercy held the trump card,   that the act  of  eating white rice as opposed to brown rice was not a great transgression, but should be considered a small  sin.

This prompted the moralist in the group (there’s one in every crowd)  to pronounce that even so, the commission of the consummation of white rice must  be confessed in the book of the  Wu blog.

So yes, I partook  of the white rice in the garden of sushi.

Yet I have reason to hold my head up proudly, since,  to paraphrase Eric Clapton, while I shot the sheriff, I did not kill his deputy. I was proud of me–not so much as a smidgen of the tempura fried cheesecake and ice cream passed my lips.  Although I did lust for its ooey-gooey sweet/sour creamy goodness in my heart. A little. OKAY, a lot!

Probably best that I demonstrate my repentance with extra activity today and make a commitment to  cleave  only unto brown rice in the future.

Pleasant words are as a honeycomb/ Sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

Proverbs 16:24


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