|The Marriage at Cana by Paolo Veronese|
In any moment, winter changes into summer and back again. I am endless fields; they seem to be wheat fields. We are vegetarian spirits, and there are women dressed as Hindus in traditional clothing, singing while playing traditional instruments.
On the horizon, summer changes to winter as cloud formations leave a hilltop covered in white flurries, a cross though somehow between cloud and snow, a wispy frozen mansion sits atop a hill where a youth in winter clothes plays with a white furry dog almost twice his size. And then suddenly, we are in what seems to be the mansion, dining at a long table set for about twenty to thirty people.
The people are a mix between Scandinavian and Mexican. We are given a menu, on it there are choices of many different breads, breads with different names, Russian and Nordic names as far as I can tell, the breads are seasoned and sweetened. I choose two, yet can’t pronounce the second, so a kind fellow from across the table tells me he can lend me his dish which is the same to try it, it’s delicious, a cinnamon sugar-type braided bread, and then he calls for one in the right tongue for the new wife and new son.
Then, a man to my right calls attention to the table. He wishes to make a toast, though a toast in the booming of his voice stretching over the table to all ears.
He speaks in a Scandinavian tongue first, saying "there is an old saying," and then he changes to Mexico, saying "in Veracruz, they say…”
It seems a meaningful and comical touch to the dining pleasures of all, and we are somehow strengthened in the notion that we are eating from the land, a 15th century delicacy for the educated and mindful, who in central Europe begin to adopt new habits in eating that leave behind the rabble pouring over scraps of pig stomach and chicken bones. It is part of a revolution that cultivates self-dependency, health, and communal celebration in the joy of a diverse humanity.
July 5, 2011