I am thinking about the meal that lasted all night in Tuscany.
I am thinking about the meal that lasted all night in Tuscany. In one way or another my Italian friends talked about food the whole evening–what we would prepare, sensual memories of what they had eaten the night before, lots of stories about food, plenty of passionate moans, constant nibbling while cooking, no shortage of red wine, and to top it off, dreams of what they might have tomorrow. It had been a four-hour dinner, at least. No, counting dessert, espresso, and more wine, much longer.
The food was simple and pure, bursting with flavors unknown to the mainstream American palate. A dribble of stone-pressed olive oil from the tree right over there, passed generously over porcini mushrooms (picked in the woods right there) and wide thin slices of local Parmesan cheese. We started there. And as exquisite as each course was, I realized that the concept of nourishment goes far beyond feeding the body. It has a lot to do with sustaining the soul.
Now here I am, starving. And I know what to do. In a side pack I put a bottle of water, a hunk of fresh bread, and an apple. That will take care of hunger, and out the door I go, to take care of my soul. I walk several blocks west, the pavement ends, and a dirt road disappears into a green tunnel of alder. The road becomes a trail, hugging the bank of a clear little creek. The trail ends and I stop. The thought I left home with was to follow the stream, searching out reflections and movement. But a splash of red–is it a flower?–has pulled me up the side of the bank and into the forest. Already feeling more nourished, I tear off some bread and smile. Adventure has hooked me again.
an excerpt from One Thousand Moons, Eddie’s book of images and essays. © Eddie Soloway