You will note, to begin with, that the onion is a thing, a being, just as you are. Savor that for a moment. The two of you sit here in mutual confrontation. Together with a knife, board, table, and chair, you are the constituents of a place in the highest sense of the word. This is a Session, a meeting, a society of things...
I am looking for moments of reflection, broadly about food, and even more ambitiously about where my tiny life sits on the great shelf of this world. There is comfort to be found in the words of our great editorial mothers and fathers who were more than adept at finding beautiful moments of thoughtfulness in the busyness of day. The Robert Farrar Capon’s, M.F.K. Fisher’s, and Tamar Adler’s of the world have uncovered a truth I know is there, but have yet to find for myself. There is a longing I feel in the bones of so many of my millennial peers who at once ask to grab hold of the world while still listening to the hesitant voices of those who came before them. I remind myself that in this quest, we are in for the long haul, the endless questioning, and the simple answers that seep through the cracks of evaluations that will never be wide enough.
Food is, quite simply, a bridge to the mindfulness I have often felt lacking in my day-to-day life. In creating meals for ourselves and for those close to us, we are asked to remain radically present, if only for a few hours. To be open, humble, and caring as we provide for our most basic need. We are the soufflé, rising precariously above the edge, and it is only by leaving the oven door closed and the myriad distractions aside, that we are able to reach decadence.
And so this is my attempt to look for the truth in my every day, to find simplicity in explorations of food, and to make these feelings explicit—to show honesty in my inability to know everything and yet courage in my desire to do exactly that. I know there are many of you out there, dear readers*, and I endlessly hope we find each other. I promise no solutions to your hectic life and no false pretense to a perfectly organized and useful life of my own. I am one of you, you are one of me, and we enter into The Long Session which will hopefully bring us nearly home. May we find it exactly where we are.
…look at what your onion has done for you: It has given you back the possibility of heaven as place without encumbering you with the irrelevancy of location. This meeting between the two of you could be moved to a thousand different latitudes and longitudes and still remain the session it started out to be.
Robert Farrar Capon
*I openly begin referring to those who stumble across this post in the same style as Molly Wizenberg, the tireless inspiration who began the fantastic blog called Orangette