Monday, November 21, 2005

~:G R A D I T U D E:~ The holiday season is upon us. Gloria, Peter and Mia are in town. We're all going up to Clayton this year to celebrate. I am always reminded of the past, of the people I love, the traditions I find comforting during the holidays. It is a feeling of being home, described in the actions of those around me - their gestures, our history, stories to tell and memories to make. It is the best of sentimentality. The kind that makes you just plain grateful for what you have. Something I wish I felt more of.

This poem by Mark Strand sums up the season for me. Our comfort associated with food. This poem is peacful, wise, calm, open to change, while cherishing the past and being in the present. Memory is fascinating. I think, food, second only to music, triggers the most memory in me. I read this poem for the first time while in undergrad. I was in Cleveland, far away from home. I read it each year during this time. Enjoy it. And peace be with all of you.


Pot Roast

I gaze upon the roast,
that is sliced and laid out
on my plate
and over it
I spoon the juices
of carrot and onion.
And for once I do not regret
the passage of time.

I sit by a window
that looks
on the soot-stained brick of buildings
and do not care that I see
no living thing — not a bird,
not a branch in bloom,
not a soul moving
in the rooms
behind the dark panes.
These days when there is little
to love or praise
one could do worse
than yield
to the power of food.
So I bend

to inhale
the steam that rises
from my plate, and I think
of the first time
I tasted a roast
like this.
It was years ago
in Seabright,
Nova Scotia;
my mother leaned
over my dish and filled it
and when I finished
filled it again.
I remember the gravy,
its odor of garlic and celery,
and sopping it up
with pieces of bread.

And now
I taste it again.
The meat of memory.
The meat of no change.
I raise my fork
and I eat.

~Mark Strand

1 comment:

maryk said...

That's nice.
I love the memories of LONG-ago holidays. But honestly, not the ones since I was, like, well, since my brothers got married and their wives were brought into the mix. I've had enough trouble finding common ground with the brothers/parents, but these And then there's the kids. I absolutely love that my dad comes to town for T-giving now. Frankly, so does he. It is not fun in Savannah on Tky-day.