Sometimes, I’m afraid to look at this blog.
Really, there are a lot of things I’d like to say at this point in life. A lot of things involving choice words I know my momma would prefer me leaving out and ideas that are just a little over the top.
And there will be a time for that.
I’ve been writing (read:blogging) like this since high school. Granted, it was more about girls and God and whining about things I can’t even remember now. But I suppose that’s how life goes. Things get big, then they get smaller. Sometimes they even disappear. I suppose if we were to hold on to everything, it would be an awfully big world to carry.
But today, I’m feeling tired. Mostly in my back. A few burnt and chapped fingers. It comes with the gig.
I spent most of this past Sunday out at a berry farm assisting some of Portland’s finest cooks prepare a big family style meal for 115 patrons. My friend Erika created Plate & Pitchfork — which provides growers, farmers, vintners, brewers and chefs a day to collaborate on meals, while also raising awareness for local food movements and various organizations. It is a good thing. To be aware of one’s food and where it comes from. (I suggest if you make it to Oregon for a summer, consider one of her dinners. They are always so beautiful and her and her team are some hard working bad-asses.)
I worked with Erika as a server a couple of years back just as my foodie interests were peaking and had always loved being near the cooks. Only this time, I was on the other side. Standing among grills burning hot mesquite, breaking down huge cuts of meat and plating pretty desserts. There was a certain point where I took it all in, feeling deeply my desire to be among these kind of people. Crude humor aside, they are my family.
The owner/farmer of Smith Berry barn went out and caught me some crawfish in his little irrigation creek. There were only about 12 — not nearly enough for anyone to be satisfied, but I certainly cooked them to the best of my ability while serving him mid course on a shiny white plate with four crawfish, tails tucked tightly, shining bright red. Beauty of a thing. He was so excited, mostly because he had never eaten them. It was a pleasure to give him a taste. And properly done, at that.
It was a warm sun. I watched as moms and dads taught their little ones to pick berries, “If they’re pink, they’re not ready okay?” As they look toward their bleach blonde babies with berry juice dripping down their chins.
“Eat them things up.” I say to myself.
A big moon came out and took the edge off the heat.
I took a short walk in between the lanes of blueberries and blackberries, letting the moon cool my sunburn.
Feeling it in my knees, I became aware of this journey.
I knew it deep down that I can’t be quiet about the things inside of me. A cage is no place for a voice to be heard. We all have important things to say.
I am glad, deep down, I can say them here.
And I’m thankful, at the end of the day,
that I have some people out there who listen.