Full and happy

Los Angeleno by birth, Northwesterner by choice, Second-hander by nature. Librarian, housebound chef, father, and lowly subject ruled over by the needs and whims of a very old house.
Partial to Mexican, Italian and Vietnamese cookery but will eat damn near anything. Collector of many strange things..the result is chaos and anarchy and a very pleasant place to live.
There is pleasure in accumulation, not just "collecting": music, books and film, in all their multi-formated glory. Outsider artists and those kinds of prints you would recognize if you took liberal studies classes in college. Cooking implements and gadgets for recipes still untried or those ventured. Glasses for most types of libations. Flowers in the garden, herbs in the pot.
It's a life of the senses and a good home life reflects that. Walking helps take in all the rest. Requires no special equipment, opens up the pores, brightens the taste buds, clears the decks for further adventures, puts on the miles, widens the eyes and helps fuel the imagination.

Live boldly, play graciously and love with all your heart knowing that true love comes only once or twice in this lifetime. Speaking of which..donde estas, Empress of my Heart?


"Lack imagination and miss the better story" Yann Martel

"Life is a great adventure and I want to say to you, accept it in such spirit. I want to see you face it ready to do the best that lies in you to win out. To go down without complaining and abiding by the result....the worst of all fears is the fear of living." Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

"Not I - not anyone else, can travel that road for you
You must travel it for yourself" Walt Whitman

And above all, friends should possess the rare gift of sitting. They should be able, no, eager, to sit for hours-three, four, six-over a meal of soup and wine and cheese, as well as one of twenty fabulous courses.

Then, with good friends of such attributes, and good food on the board, and good wine in the pitcher, we may well ask,

When shall we live if not now?

-From Serve it Forth,
M.F.K. Fisher

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fire rings

The solstice is coming. I remember all too well the fire rings at the beach in the winter. We would drag in stacks of wood pallets, as many as we could find, never enough considering how well guarded they were down there in SoCal. We would always send somebody ahead earlier in the day, tough duty on a state beach, cooler full of beer, sunset full of toxins and pollutants, always a wonderful sight to see. But we would eventually congregate in mass come dark, boom boxes blaring, food sizzling on hibachis or charcoal grills, beers and other libations escalating the level of conversation and merriment. And while it wasn't necessarily the thing to do each and every time the longest night of the year came about, there would always be someone in the crowd who would want to test out the level of their testosterone and leap over the flames. I never saw burning calzones to mark the occasion but I am sure that there were plenty of singed hairs about to talk about in the morning.

I can't imagine life in that region without fire pits for those last summer nights, for those wildly cold winter holy days, for the evenings in the spring and the fall when the air would be soft and warm and not quite seasonally uncomfortable. I think of all the rites of passage and all the rituals of growing up that would be lost if those rings went away. Sure, there will always be fools who jump over blazing pallet fires. Those same fools will always sing too loud, laugh to heartily, behave too boorishly and find ways to piss off the neighbors, but then again, without them we would have no reason to feel okay about behaving wickedly and foolishly on the Feast of Fools or the Winter Solstice. We would have no right to our rites, to our revels, to our fire gods. We would wonder what the fuss is about and lose connection to the real reasons why we light fires in the night and wish to be one with Thor and Bacchus and the rest of the cooler, wilder and more sympathetically fun gods.

So here's to the solstice, to fire circles and to the great cycles of life!



1 comment:

Thaydra said...

I would love to be able to do that! I've often wished I was able to put a firepit in the yard. There is something so cleansing about it. We use to have them back when I was younger, and indeed, there was always someone who would jump the fire. I was one of them... LOL. But it's such a relaxed, FUN way to celebrate the longest, coldest night of the year!