My knife never sings but hums instead when withdrawn from its block, a metallic whisper so modest only the wielder may hear it. Or perhaps the dog, who seems to enjoy the kitchen nearly as much as I. A Japanese blade, it’s a joy to hold, perfectly balanced, stainless steel-molybdenum alloy, blade and handle of one piece, bright, untarnished, and so sharp as to slide through, rather than awkwardly rupture and divide, its next task on the board.

We’ve never counted the chopped and rendered onions, the fine dice, slender rings and discarded skins, but if we could gather all the corpses we’ve produced together over the years, we’d form a monument to our work, cooperation of metal and man, a Waterloo mound in memory of the bulbs laid there, the planning involved, the missteps and serendipity, and the tears shed along the way.

The blade doesn’t care. It is. It works. It moves things, it lifts, it parts them, and in return is cleansed, and later, in the quiet room, maintains its edge with a silvery rasp, angled steel on steel in a circular motion, over and over, until finally it hums its way back into the block. But it never sings.

“Onions” first appeared on this blog in June 2015.


68 thoughts on “Onions

  1. I never cry when my Victorinox – or my more expensive but no less worthy Germanic blades – slither through onions with murderous intent. I merely guide the carnage. Robert, really enjoyed seeing Onions. Is the art new this incarnation? You’ve given impetus to my waistward slide as I contemplace Onion Rings in beer batter with me before battered by said beer. My red torpedoes and Granex and bunching – and more besides – await a little cooler climes before going “dirtside” in their dance towards The Cutting Board!

    Liked by 4 people

      • Mil Gracias, Robert. Now, I think I would like to give some onions a chance to avenge their cousins: smother some pork chops after a brief brine and rub and grill before finding their way under a half-ton of half-moons. A nice Anchor Steam shared ‘twixt my belly and my enameled cast iron.

        Liked by 2 people

          • My dad introduced me with the tale of a 14-year-old “second-seater” on a cross-country truck from Minnesota-to-San Francisco. He related such when I came by to visit the twosome who taught me much with a six pack of A/S in one hand and an Anchor Porter in the other. Mom grimaced. Dad took two of each. I showered, showed them the just-caught specks (black crappie to everyone but those ’round Sanford, Florida it seems), ready for the pan and donated one Steam for the batter and the hush puppies and the next morning I was off to cover some sports story near Pensacola. The Dunderbach’s at the near-Orlando mall quit stocking Anchor and the local Albertson’s folded before I could locate more. But, when I am not near the beer I love, I love the beer I’m near.

            Liked by 1 person

              • Only took me 50 years to try peanut butter…and I love goobers, boiled or roasted…some time next April or May when they come down from Georgia again – the mature ones, not my favorite for boiling anyway, as fried…sounds like I found a new project. I’ll throw up my boiled green peanuts (goober peas) recipe on “Outrage” soon as I figure how to import without tying my sad fingers in knots. You go a have a wonderful weekend, Robert. I still have lots of pics to upload to both of richwrapper’s main places hereabouts.

                Liked by 2 people

  2. Not often but enough, my typer-fingered frenzies find useful if not just amusing mash-mishes which sometimes illuminates the thought from a different sun. Sometimes I am tempted to leave intact, or at least parenthetical the little booger-gem. I am glad to type too fast sometimes – and when I tried decades past to rekeyboard my old KayPro C/PM eight-bit machine to a Dvorak layout I lost interest quickly – besides Rugby practice intruded and beer (after practice) beats whipsawing already muscle-memoried fingers to hop aboard those godawful thimbles-on-steroids which serve reminder to Lions and Tigers “Don’t Get Caught!”

    Liked by 3 people

  3. You continue to awe — how often has a tool been so elevated through word?! My own favorite knife is older than I…my father found it in the little stone-front cape cod home he bought in 1964; the knife had been left there by the house’s builder (whose wife refused to occupy it with her husband and opted to remain in the shack out back). My father passed the knife, casually and without ceremony, to me when my husband and I bought our first home. Its steel blade stamped “R.H.Forschner Co. XXX Damascus”. I have never felt the need for another. 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

      • I tested it out by slicing a piece of paper with it like on the demo video. I had it delivered to work and I think I scared some colleagues with my paper slicing antics.

        Probably due a new one now cause my partner insists on sharpening it the old school way and the blade is not so smooth. I never got round to buying a water sharpener (is that what they’re called?) Still a good knife though- it’s been with me through so many meal preparations (and paper shredding) haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Robert Okaji: A good onion, a good knife, a good poem. What more does a girl want? « buildingapoem

  5. The stillness of a Sunday morning ruptured by a knife’s blade and peripheral vision. Not that the day of the week matters to a retired person. Daniel Schnee’s dissertation on Robert Okaji led to your reading at Malvern Books eliciting smiles and nods of agreement. Yes. We mark our remaining days with unread books. I am so glad you came by and bothered to like my words, which opened my eyes to your world of spoken images. Your reflections on the drought conditions in recent years reminded me of something I wrote in 2011 when we lived at the western edge of the Hill Country. https://photoleraclaudinha.com/2011/09/10/my-unicorns-are-dying/
    Thank you for your visit yesterday!

    Liked by 1 person

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