What I Write
Excerpted from “The Food Writer and The Chef: A (Truly) Great Romance – Part I
I have a thing for chefs.
Who doesn’t, these days — with so many beautiful restaurants popping up everywhere, with so much passion going into the growing of clean produce, into the raising of natural livestock, resulting after so much life and love in a dish placed before you on a table or bar in a room meant exclusively for the joyful homage to food? And we know, don’t we? That it is the chefs who are responsible, who are the ultimate fountainheads of such driving forces with their intense creative energy and individual, exacting standards of sensorial perfection, for whom such temples of hedonism and sensition (the religion of sensation) are built, that we may indulge in heights of pleasure for the simple act of nourishment?
I certainly know.
And that is perhaps why, this past December, I wished – serious, but half-joking – for a chef-boyfriend for Christmas.
In perfect karmic irony, I won one shortly before Valentine’s Day.
We met, serendipitiously, on Twitter in the very weekly chat hosted by @Foodiechats wherein I had expressed quite openly my wish for a chef before Christmas – and had my wish retweeted by a few amused foodies.
Don’t ask me how it happened! I have asked him what drew him so strongly that he reached out to call back my energy, my attention after our short exchange during the chat. Maybe it was exactly as he said, and I, being the free spirit I am, having stated so simply – when he pronounced that he’d be traveling to Thailand soon and might open a burger joint in that exotic place – that I would love to visit, to travel in a few years, when I have my sailboat…. Maybe I captivated him with my excited verve.
He has maintained it was my “courage” that drew him. I don’t know that the word is precise, for it has confused me since the day he first told me, has caused such deep rifts and consternation and pain between us since, when I expressed and behaved in ways I know to be true courage….
I maintained, very seriously, that I am not courageous. Just vulnerable, and willing to be so. But maybe these qualities imply that I am both vulnerable and courageous. I don’t know.
There is that moment, when you meet someone for the first time – and, yes, it can exist online, in the 140-character feed of the Twitterverse – when you just know something big is going to happen. The right person, the right place, the right time.
I’ve always known it only takes a second to know another person; for anyone brave enough or simple enough or honest enough or lucky enough to look, to know the potential of any relationship. It only takes a glance; it only takes a moment of openness, of awareness of the other person – and you know what you feel, what they feel; what you want, what they want. That is connection, and it happens immediately, with everyone, with everything – because we are alive, we are human: thinking-sensing-feeling beings.
We do get confused, bogged down, sometimes, with so many thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories. Ideas. Wishes. Dreams. Standards and moralities. Our minds are ever-calculating, looking for “the perfect one” – which only means: the perfect one to fulfill everything we want and wish and dream… and love. That’s why “yes” or “no;” that’s why we have a concept of choosing. That’s why he’s right and she’s not quite. That’s why there’s “a time for everything” – because maybe, there’s a moment when he’s not right, and she’s perfect, even when the truth is that there’s actually, truly nothing wrong with now, and now, and now for him, or for her, or for you.
It was his willingness to engage, his interest in me, his openness that drew me in to him, as excited and curious and trepidatious as a child being offered a ride on a magical beast.
|What I Write||
I write for love.
Which is to say: I write because I love it, about the things I love.
For now, I write non-fiction – mostly about the food-and-beverage lifestyle, because (of course) I love it.
I’ve also recently returned to writing poetry, inspired by my profound feelings for the extremely-talented chef in the story above.
I write experientially, delving into my photographic memory to construct the scents, sights, sounds, smells, feelings of the places I’ve been, of the people with whom I’ve lived, with the purpose of sharing and proliferating intensity, love, self-expression, self-acceptance, self-exploration… that is to say: with the purpose of sharing my life with others.
I hope mostly to inspire others to live the life they want, to give an example of someone who embraces all of the facets of life, including the painful and mundane, by which nothing is painful nor mundane, but is made beautiful and new by the transformative power of true love.
My Write-a-thon Goals
* Write and publish at least one thousand-word essay on ‘Mi Tenti Senza Pieta’ each week of the Write-A-Thon
* Write and publish at least one five-hundred-word essay on ‘Love: The Unpardonable Sin’ each week of the Write-A-Thon
* Write and submit four query letters for food-and-beverage articles during the entire Write-A-Thon
* Raise at least $35 from each of my participating friends
* Enlist the support of 20 friends / family members
* With the funds raised from this event, up to my goal of $700 total, I will pick and write about restaurants I’ve not yet experienced, spending no more than $100 (excluding tip) at each venue.
* With any funds raised exceeding my goal of $700, I will combine the funds to plan a day or weekend trip, about which I will write.
* Donation Incentives:
* Donors of $35+ may submit a story request on any subject of their choosing, which I will write within the next 12 months. Story requests must be one-to-three word subjects; stories will be between 500-1000 words, and will be published on http://meredithlmcguire.wordpress.com, with a special thanks and mention of the donor.
* Donors of $50+ are entitled to all previous rewards, plus a coffee / tea date with me at a location of their choosing, or from a list of places which I can suggest.
* Donors of $100+ are entitled to all previous rewards, and may join me (at their expense – my apologies, but I’m a starving artist!!) at one of the dinners in which I use the contributions from this Write-A-Thon to write, and may choose to be mentioned by name or pseudoname (of your choosing!) as my dining partner!
* Donors of more than $100 will receive all of the rewards, in addition to an individualized reward that I will concoct (should anyone be so generously willing to donate more than $100!!!) Please challenge my creativity, as I will ensure the reward fits the donation!!!
Thank you in advance to EVERYONE who participates!