Sunday, August 10, 2008

Last meal


It's sort of strange to admit to this now but when I was a kid I remember doling out only a very small portion of each item of food onto my plate and pretending I was a starving child in some remote country. It was a bizarre exercise in artificial deprivation and for the 3 minutes I conducted my upper-middle class experiment I fully savored each little bite.

I've always appreciated my food, but rarely make the time to be completely in the moment when I eat wonderful things. There is one exception. A hamachi hand roll from a great sushi restaurant will stop me in my tracks.

Sometimes I even close my eyes. My partner (in life and crime) does this every time she eats a fried egg with bacon on toast. If something is that good, it seems best to close out one sense to heighten another.

Perhaps taste buds prefer total darkness.

I did this unintentionally last night when I ate that avocado. Thank god it wasn't one of those total bummer of an avocados. You know the ones - they look perfect on the outside and then are completely black and nasty on the inside.

My last meal consisted of that perfect avocado dribbled with balsamic vinegar, salt and olive oil, a fried egg and some toast. To drink? I had a supremely lucky day yesterday. I almost can't say it again, but I need to give up wine for 90 days. My partner is a sommelier! I'm surrounded by lovely wines often! But I will not whine! I will not!

Except now, I really need to. Apparently.

But back to being lucky. And supremely appreciative. I was with some old friends last night and we all went to the Corson Building picnic. We started talking about favorite wines and I mentioned one of mine: Cayuse Vineyards Syrah. About 30 minutes later we're talking with another group of folks (most everyone at this picnic was involved in the food or wine business) and they are pouring each other glasses of my very favorite wine, a wine I have not been able to afford or get easily in the 5 years since I've coveted it. (It has achieved a somewhat cult status and there is a wait-list to order it). I am offered a glass and I can't think of a more perfect last glass of wine to have on this particular evening.

And yes, I closed my eyes.

1 comment:

Jesse said...

I don't know if I'll post on every one of your entries but this one also reminds me of something that I want to share with you.

I've been making friends with death again! What? Maybe it's a turning 40 thing but I also remember moments like these when I went and lived out in the woods alone in Ithaca that one time.

Anyway, it happens like this. I'll be doing whatever I'm doing... walking, playing frisbee with friends, eating and I'll just start saying good-bye or feeling like good-bye. It's a strange, nostalgic, winsome, vivifying feeling. This moment will never ever be here again so in my gratitude and appreciation I feel a good-bye. Thank god it isn't happening all the time but when I it does it makes me feel deeper and more real about the moment I'm in.

Every day with Tin Pan we start our first set with the song "Just a Little While" So this idea has really sunk in with me I guess. Perhaps this will give you courage on your deprivation / healing journey.

"Just a little while to stay here
Just a little while to wait
Just a little while to labor
on this path that's always (never) straight

Just a little while to savor
Just a little while to taste
Pretty soon you know we'll all be long gone.
Not one moment to waste."