Definitions for the Nine Degrees

In Animals, Current reading, Food, Local projects, notes, proto drafts, Theater on January 1, 2015 at 8:32 am

Not that I didn’t enjoy the party…

Let’s try again: After I woke up from my snooze near the fireplace (the kids were partying in the next room and the adults eating, drinking and small talking), I decided I’d rather greet the New Year in bed with a book.

But which one? Close my eyes, take one, open at random. I am on page one seventy-five. About to discover the Nine-degree Ladder. (That’s Kiyui-Shidai for the uninitiated.)

Three superior degrees. Three middling and, yes, three inferior ones. The author suggests studying the middling, first. In media stat virtue? Maybe, but this here is the Secret Tradition of Noh Theater, so different rules apply.

I gaze at the three superior degrees anyway. The highest being the Style of the Marvelous Flower described as “In Shinra, at midnight, the sun shines.” But I can’t help it, and take a peek at the three inferior degrees too. The choice is yours: do you prefer a Powerful and Meticulous Style? Powerful and Violent? Or Powerful and Corrupted? Hm. Hard to say, but I love the description for Powerful and Violent: “Three days after his birth, the tiger is in a mood to devour a bull.” (I said I love the description.)

The world is a strange place: prior to delving into La Tradition du Nô, I saw an astounding clip on Facebook of a young boy petting his giant snail. Giving it a throat massage shall we say. The snail looked in a state close to the ninth degree.  If school boards can ban Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, I think the powers that spy on the internets should put a Parent Advisory on that one.

Allez. The New Year. Should you happen to have a couple of left-over blini and a bit of smoked fish, here’s a quick and easy garnish as a change or an addition to the sour cream: reduce two beets and a bit of pickled garlic to a puree, add some horseradish, salt, and a touch of yogurt. You can down chilled lemon vodka with it if you like, although I don’t recommend it at eight twenty-nine am, on any day.

Allez? Yes, I said that already.


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