It's my birthday week--I have resolved to start on the day before (especially here in North America, because I was born in Malaysia, so my birthday is always 12 hours behind here!) and celebrate it all the way to the end of the week. This started sometime in my late 20s, because the surprise that I am still alive past the age of 21 somehow doesn't lift. I'm always a little outside my body at this time of year: how did I make it this far? In my teens I was convinced I would be dead by now, because at that age I simply couldn't see past 21.
Yet here I am. Part of a small family of writers and readers, with friends who are delightful and creative and kind and sweet. Among this family's ranks is S. Qiouyi Lu, who I met on the Tumblr, and who has since blossomed into a wonderful poet! Their poem "Meat Bone Tea," based on the legendary bak kut teh soup I've made for the both of us on the occasion of their being back in California, was recently published by Uncanny Magazine. It is a wonderful meditation on the landscapes of food, its visual delight and the emotional weight that feeding another person carries. Cooking for someone else, a sit-down meal, a beloved recipe, a kind of comfort food borne of generations of experimenting with handy herbs, is one of the best acts in the world.
I'm so happy for Qiouyi on their latest publication! Perfect addition to my birthday week celebrations! They are so talented and I look forward to more of their work, and you should, too.