So, I wrote this somewhere else. Wasn't sure if it would have any relativity here. Maybe sort of. Had to sit on it for a day, reread it, and give it a heartbeat. At the time, in the situation, I just knew I wanted to write and explore the subject. Maybe it's just a testiment to how vast or penetrating the subject of food is. Maybe I just like to think out loud and subject others to my ramblings...I hope not.
You know it's weird. Some call me a pessimist, a realist. My friends will tell you that I've always been slightly skewed one way. I can't help but see real correlations that most ignore or refuse to accept. They intrigue and sometimes frighten me.
I went to a memorial today. I had no relation, blood or otherwise, which may have made it easier to be so objective. I have always been this way, as long as I can remember anyways but I found this occasion increasingly so since the departed had not cluttered my heart with the grief I felt around me.
What happens when someone close dies? How awkward of a situation it is for us to deal with. I find it intriguing that food is so centrally based in this matter. I have grieved, lost loved ones, and felt empty inside. So I find it extra specially interesting that food plays so strongly in comfort for people. It is almost religious doctrine, consious or not to start cooking when death happens. Even people who have no business being in the kitchen. But when they are, it is the utmost comfort foods that are produced. Where do these come from? Ziti, casseroles, canned olives, pickles, lots of desserts...lots of desserts. My wife said that when someone passes, it is natural for those that care to cook. The mourning family needs to eat when they can and not be bothered with the matter...that I get. But, what do you make? Honestly......if you were to pass on tomorrow....what would you want your loved ones to be comforted with. A photo montage over beers, memories, and laughs....mac n' cheese, bacon, crab, p&d shrimp........when you go, I would hope that you would want people to remember, love, laugh, celebrate a life, and fill themselves........food says sooo much.
Food and the act of mealtime mean so much whether or not we think about it. It's fitting that Tolkien talks about Hobbits eating so frequently. Yes, I'm a dork, yes I'm rereading the Lord of the Rings, but for real. What better way to celebrate life and togetherness in extreme situations than a good meal. When it's good, it makes everything ok for a couple seconds. It wipes away pain, heartache and swaddles with comfort.
We have so much and I hope to appreciate it. If you were to go, what would you be remembered by? Could a food, a single dish bring comfort to those around you? Those that love and lost you? Maybe a collection of foods and songs to match?
If I could leave an imprint on this earth so strong as a flavor or company of taste that people truly remembered, I'd die happy....
I will never forget a circle of pickups, sitting in a camping chair, eating a ham sandwich and chips in the shade of a great tree, in the company of friends and a new family. It was a beautifully clear day. It taught me a new way to grieve. It felt right or honoring a soul in a way that I can't really explain to you in words. The wind smelled sweet and fresh and alive.......