On Meaninglessness: The Head and The Heart (and some Pasta)

These Days Are Numbered.   This week saw the passing of Robin Williams and the ensuing social media fallout that I have so far managed to avoid.  Let us all rue the day when we, too, should become fodder for passing judgment and the critical speculation of complete strangers as they gallantly swipe their "opposing" thumbs across our image.  This, an image intermingled with other images of back-to-school front porches, complaints about work, fuzzy concert photos, "ISIS", cute babies strapped in car seats doing delightfully unexpected things...Imagine for a moment your last words being "retweeted" and shared and "liked" with all the emotion an illuminating cartoon thumb can muster.  This web we know.  This web.  This web is a tangled mess, and we are all in its bondage.  

To find meaning in every day life is a challenge each of us faces regardless of our circumstances or mental state.  To judge one another for the decisions one makes only adds to the swirling dustbowl of noise.  We each greet the day as individuals with the same capacity for possibility as the next person, and yet what we do with it varies greatly depending on a whole host of reasons.  For those who find themselves thrust deep into the doldrums of despair, that which we would take for granted is much more challenging.  Making statements about the life and death of someone you have never met is particularly unnecessary.  Instead of criticizing, we might do well to stop and realize that we are all here together, and that "detail" is really all that is separating us from complete savagery.  


There is plenty of meaning to be found in the alchemy of cooking.  Like music, it is not necessary to have everyone on stage to create a stunning composition.  It is possible to take humble ingredients and transform them into something people want to devour.  Flour, eggs, tomatoes, a shallot... Lobster, for instance, is a dynamic creature that lives its life in the depths of the ocean.  The fact that it currently costs less by weight than mediocre cold cuts is wholly inconsequential to its worth.  It can still be respected, revered and refined.   We can all wake up with what we have and make something beautiful by day's end.  Since we are not sea creatures, some days the ocean will drag us under, spin us around, and cause us to lose sight of the earth from beneath our feet.   For most of us, we can still have faith that it's possible that the pull of the moon will eventually spit us back out.  As for the others, it's our job to respect and revere them.  It's our duty to make with the day what we can.


Here, fresh pasta with lobster and tomato: