This is my first blog post written from a more or less drunken state. I arrived home tonight (via back roads) with a baggie full of pebre, a full belly, and a free sample of ginger cayenne omega truffles. I’m sitting here eating White Cheddar Bunnies right out of the bag. I put the cracker box in my burn barrel. Yes, I sit outside and burn my garbage in an old steel paint can and I live in the "city". Thank God for rural Idaho. Thank God.
I just lived through my own personal final episode of “Lost.” I met a woman who was born in Sugar City, Idaho to Morman ancestors who graduated in Speech Pathology in 1958 from ISU and whose kids were friends with one of my very first friends in Teton Valley. I’m reeling just a little.
That reeling, by the way, is most likely from three glasses of red wine and single glass of some Chilean-style sangria that I drank, all while making empanadas, fettucini, and ravioli at my local chapter of Slow Foods' first cook-along. We cooked with lard (something I haven’t seen since my Great Grandma Esther’s freezer) and sriracha (that awesome, red hot Thai sauce that comes in a clear bottle with a rooster on it). We ate for three hours straight and I heard more life stories than I could ever have imagined. Each and every one of them infused my love of the human condition with a brand new zest and validated my current lifestyle choices (ski bum with a shitty work ethic, in case anyone was confused).
Life is short.
If you hate your life, change it.
Life is short.
If you don’t love it, change it.
Life is short so love it, live it, hug people, love people, be patient with yourself and others until you can love them and they can love you back.
When I first walked into this event, I was quite unsure. I wrote a check for $35 and stood alone wearing a blue apron covered with embroidery of an apple-picking scene. Finally someone offered me a glass of wine. Finally the others in the room were drinking wine. Finally people were comfortable enough to talk to each other. (As a sidenote, I realize how f’d up this may seem, and it is reality so take it or leave it.) By the end of the night, I’d had a conversation with a 78-year-old about the benefits and drawbacks of double rocker and traditional ski style. I’d learned from 3 women how they’d met the love of their life and known that no matter what happened, this was the last person they would love. I’d sat at the table with 4 (out of 12) other people who had undergraduate degrees from Missoula. I’d been asked to tell my story.
It’s so funny when someone asks you to tell your story. Where do you start? What do you say? Who really cares? Well, I’m funny enough that at least I can make my story interesting. At the expense of my dad (I know you supported me and my education fully and never said “Most people who go to school for 8 years become doctors” - but it’s just too good not to say!!), I made everyone laugh and reminisce and have good feelings toward their dads who may or may not have been too hard on them through the rough times (my dad was not). And that is what I’m good at; making people feel good. I’ve toiled and worried, felt angst and pain about what the heck am I supposed to be doing with this current blessed lifetime of mine. And you know what? The answer is, I’m here to make you laugh and smile and be thankful and sad for the things that are and the things that have passed. Hopefully, with each passing experience you learn to make more thankful memories than sad ones and more beauty than division, more love than not, and more acceptance than grief.
After saying all that, I have to admit, that my favorite part of this evening is that I have drunk way too much, eaten way too much, stayed up much too late, neglected my duties, and skied all day with the love of my life. This day has been as fulfilling, interesting, chock-full, and tiring as any day in my adult life. And as I prepare to go to bed (maybe even without brushing my teeth, much less following my prescribed Ayurvedic routine), I am happy, full, inspired, and in awe at the greatness of life and the loveliness of friends, and the freshness of love that I can sit and eat crackers after 10pm, even after a full dinner and know, really know in the depth of my soul that my health and my happiness are not endangered because my love of my fellow man has been kindled and tended all day and into the night and love is what matters at the end of the day. Not green smoothies, not goji berries, not vodka, not flossing, not powder, not flat abs, but Love, Pure Love. That is what makes the world go round.
It is our job to make the world go round.