I designed a new logo for The Human Rights Network
There are rarely statements made in the world that are universally true. Wars are fought over truth claims resounding throughout history. Food, however, at least to my limited knowledge, has never caused any wars, besides the occasional local Malaysian kiosk claiming to have the best ox tail, or holiday arguments over which of our Nana's meatballs are better...a war often fought but never won on any side.
Nonetheless, it is safe to say...we love food. Dig a bit deeper and you will find histories presented in the form of spices, memories in the forms of scents, and emotions with each scrape of the fork, spoon, or chopsticks against your grinning face.
I remember when the ladies of my community village would get together. Hands sewn by flour and water, smile lines across all their faces as they laugh at old jokes told in native tongue. A visual road map. Faces carved into sun dried apples. Light catches the flour as it suspends in air, illuminating the rays that break through the apartment window. Rays of dusk light that land on thousands of strings of pasta hanging from the chairs, doors, tables...the ladies flavor the pasta with their weathered hands and inject flavor with laughter. That is food for me.
The aftermath of dinner parties when everyone had just enough wine to get belly laughs to pass through purple stained teeth. Empty plates stacked on dirty utensils and disheveled napkins as we recline. Each plate and fork like a sort of medal of accomplishment. Even now, when I look back on my friend's faces, its always in the low lit christmas lights that were strung above us on the rooftops in the city, basked in colors of orange Masala, and yellow Lassi. You can almost taste the colors...walk the markets and see which flavors are in season. Like a fashion show put on by Mama Nature..."Grapes are particularly ravishing in purple this season".
It isn't called the Big Apple for a reason...and I plan on taking as many bites as I can.
So when people ask why I love dinner parties, or being the guy who picks the seat at a restaurant with the best lighting and textured surface so I can better stand on my chair and take the picture...which I am that guy- or why I prefer dirty forks and plates and laughs over anything else...its because its history to me. I can taste the people before me, and build the people after.
In the world of food, there is no male or female. Divorced, married or single. Poor or rich...just hungry. Just human.
With that said, here are some of my memories, in the form of food.
and spaced out over time over much time
breathe in deep the words
drinking in deep the words you said to me
I breathe in deep, and my heart picks up step as my chest reaches its limit
tight and exhale
And I close my eyes
as you sweep in like the wind and carry me in the rustling leaves
feel your fingers in my hair, and your kiss upon my cheek,
and the trees clap their hands
the light illuminates the the props
and enter stage left
A few years back I attended Uni in Chicago. Obsessed with my venerable minolta 35mm camera, I would poke my head outside the classroom regularly to soak in the summer heat in the city.
Technology be damned, I lost a lot of my prints. All I was left with tiny representations of the actual images themselves. Nonetheless, when I discovered them, unburied again...a swell of nostalgia rushed into me. Ideas of when life was a little simpler. When you can stand under fountain waters to escape heat and not give two cents about what people thought.
I love the grain of film. The visible tactility of it. Here are some images from my days in Chicago, years living in China, dead trees in Arizona, and blurry roller coaster nights.
Perhaps its time to dust off the minolta and give her a few clicks, for memory's sake.