With this new rehearsal schedule for opera, I find myself obligated to pack both a lunch and dinner. Something in my genes or upbringing just doesn't eat out, so I spend about 15 minutes in the morning putting together the day's food and carry the bulky load on my bike. It's a little more to think about than just the simple singular mid-day meal rehearsal schedule. It's twice the load, actually, mentally and physically, even though I cheat by having a boiled egg and kiwi as a staple for both meals. In addition to those two things I generally have soba or somen noodles with wakame (steamed seaweed) carrots, broccoli and tofu and some soy sauce for one meal, and brown rice, with finely cut cabbage and tofu for the other.
The point of this long prelude is that today in the midst of my laden mental and physical load, I forgot the lynchpin of joy in my on-the-go culinary HPAC lounge eating menu: Korean seaweed. It is the reason that I make rice with finely-chopped tofu, cabbage and sour-plum sesame seasoning. The pleasure of spooning the mixture into the loving, slightly salty fold of green and feeling the crunchy outside followed by the soft center. What a match. It makes it worth the long rehearsals, it's what gets me through the last 30 minutes of practice.
Perhaps I took on too much today. It was quite tragic when I realized my error. But then it often happens that when we are stretch in new ways, something often falls through the cracks, despite its crucial importance. How to stay ever focused, ever present, despite this shifting world of demands? Sometimes mistakes happen, and that's ok.
And sometimes in addition to mistakes, grace happens. As luck would have it, our conductor revised our rehearsal schedule so that we were released earlier and I had no need to eat my lonely rice without its beloved seaweed. It is still sitting in the refrigerator at HPAC, faithfully waiting for me to remember its friend. Tomorrow, another chance.