I don’t just “like” this, in a Tumblr way. I LOVE this.
“I have toyed with an idea – the idea that although a man’s life is compounded of thousands and thousands of moments and days, those many instants and those many days may be reduced to a single one: the moment when a man knows who he is, when he sees himself face to face.” - Jorge Luis Borges
You brave friends of soup, it is currently a beautiful Sunday. This is our first soup of spring, light and tangy and full of life. Today, I have spent hours in the sun thinking about the loneliness in our souls – and garlic. What else? Luckily both may lead to some self-discovery. The brilliant documentary filmmaker Les Blank happened to die today. He directed a movie called ‘Garlic is as Good as 10 Mothers’, which is, yes, all about the joys and benefits of garlic. This one is for him.
1. Innocents alone …
Soup is hard to make in small servings, for oneself say. And in a way the heart of the soup-making enterprise is so powerful and rich that it deserves a larger canvas. So it’s normal to make a big batch at once and then save the rest for later. We know this, we do this, but inevitably there’s that moment of looking around for someone to share it with. We’ve already talked about cooking alone and how that can be tricky, both practically and spiritually. Still, there are all kinds of aloneness, and there is a lot to learn. One thing you will learn again and again is that no matter how alone you feel, no matter how blue, you will hold out hope for connection, for company. Maybe it’s all of the stories, but that anticipation, the need, can be the most painful part. The dashing of it is a birthright. There is nothing to be done about it: you will go to sleep alone, as they say. But don’t be depressed, friends. Breathe in the smell of the garlic and let the world pull you back to your body and toward the earth from which you and the strange onion both came.
2. God respects us when we work, but loves us when we dance …
This endeavor of modern humanity is about audience, and so it is about performance, whether we like it or not. One person, a clique of persons, a mass of people, nobody at all. We are bred to measure ourselves against this constantly. After all, a hero needs a story, which needs a theater, or a book, or a website, or even just a living room with someone to listen. And maybe everybody needs love, I don’t know. I say this in the nicest possible way because I know this is one of those secrets we all share and dislike engaging with, but surely you know that who you are is not the same as who the world understands you to be – even the person you are closest to in the world. Very few people know their genuine selves even after years locked in a box with the beast. Fewer still can direct that self into some meaningful, sustained dialogue with the people around them. Who I am is not the same as the words that I type, or even refuse to type. I’m trying … trying … to be here on this screen you read from. Hi. You might not, probably don’t, even exist, but I am here anyway. Why? A soup made is not a soup blogged about, and vice-versa. Our guts know well before our minds the truth of things. The garlic soup can go in any direction now. This is when you want it to become something, something worth sharing. Something meaningful?