In Gratitude

In Gratitude is an homage to food and family. Created during the pandemic, it is a series of portraits of myself, my husband, and my three children showing the items that we use to create our daily meals. Influenced by Pablo Neruda’s Elemental Odes, I included my own poetry to celebrate and memorialize the everyday.

My own approach to cooking pre-Covid had been ambivalent. I sometimes viewed it at as a chore to even think about what to create, and at other times I relished the opportunity to make a beautiful near-gourmet meal.  But what lay behind my desire was to be the perfect parent. This was often thwarted with the reality of schedules, work, and external demands.

Covid-19 changed the way I approached our dinners. They became the highlight of our day and I became more thoughtful in my shopping and preparing. Perhaps if I could at least nourish my family, then somehow, we could be safe. 

Despite the uncertainty and fear we feel because of the pandemic, it has enabled me to see my gratitude more clearly, allowing me to honor the foods we eat through the creation of these portraits. I also learned to embrace the imperfections in myself so I could fully enjoy these moments before us.

In the words of MFK Fisher, “our three basic needs, for food, security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined, that we cannot straightly think about one without the others.”. 


Preprandial 
Crushed garlic vacuoles empty out their
sulfur,
alarm for what lies
ahead.
A rising heat, a coated
calculus rests.
A warm blanket 
of butter 
buffering,
if only for a brief exhale.
Cilia
wave,
fanning
coals glazed with
fear.
Fridge emptied of ideas,
Scrutinizing.
The percussion of the utility
knife
unleashing
its cadence to mask
the vitriol.
Neutralizing corrosion
with a juiced
lemon.



Postprandial


In the archives 
of the deep
folds
of my reptilian brain
I can still 
taste 
the honey of 
memory,
thick with onion blossoms
and blistered
tomatoes.
Lingering
words seared
to the skillet,
crossword tracks
of sea salt,
seasoned for another day.
Their voices
crashing against
the membranes,
messages
spiraling
in the labyrinth.
The warm content in my belly,
golden
milk,
sending signals
northward.

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