life, death and…a cookbook?

wow. it’s been a long time. a few things brought me to back to the blog:  david rakoff,  my friend kelli’s new job and my friend marie’s book. and because it’s monday, meatless monday news from sprouted kitchen…

first, the sad news. the passing of one of my favorite modern writers, david rakoff. even that phrase, “the passing of” gives me pause. the passing to where? i’ve been thinking a lot about that lately…life. and how i’m living it. wondering if all my efforts of eating organically, supporting local farms, recycling, composting, having a garden, trying to do good in the world…all the things i do and try to do…do they really matter in the face of drought, population growth and the millions of other people who don’t give a sh*t? are we making a difference? or are we just making ourselves feel better? the death of someone so talented and so young (only 47!) always makes me reflect on my own life and how i spend my waking hours. the irishman and i were finally able to get away for a few days off. we went to big bear, pretty, but not spectacular, and a short drive from l.a. we stayed in a little cabin, cooked most of our meals, hiked and tried to stay away from people – which, even during the summer at a ski resort, was difficult. we came away with a couple decisions:  one, we need to get out of the heat and two, we need to get out of l.a.

which brings me to kelli. recently, she got the perfect job. and by perfect, i mean PERFECT. perfect for who she is and what she cares about and why she got her degree. the perfect job in the perfect city. she had been searching (like so many of us) for a long time and in a moment, her whole life changed. all the struggle suddenly made sense. and she realized that a seemingly random series of events lead her to exactly where she needed to be. a contact she had made 6 years ago in new york lead to a project in l.a. which was the exact kind of work she was applying for in san francisco. so against all odds and hundreds of applicants, she ended up getting not only a job, but a real future with a group of equally passionate and intelligent people.

next up is my friend marie. she has been writing a book. not just a book. but an idea that will change how people think about life and how they live it. she’s very close to finishing. but in the meantime, she and her husband have been fighting an emotionally draining legal battle and health issues and all the stress that comes with running your own business.

so many people struggling. and yet, so many people still trying to live right. so many people trying to make sense of how their lives have changed. of how that plan they had or that path they felt they were on, took a wrong turn and now they are just trying to get back to where they were before it all went to hell.

but before this post becomes a complete downer, let’s have some happy meatless monday news from sprouted kitchen. i’ve shared quite a few of sara & hugh’s recipes and i think i’ve written about how excited i am about their new book (coming out on august 28th!). but because it’s been so bloody hot in l.a. and i haven’t really been cooking (loads of salads and fruit…thank you, c.s.a.!), instead of a meatless monday recipe,  i thought it would be nice to share how excited they are about the fact that their dream, started two years ago, is finally a tangible, touchable thing…

in an interview with npr “there is no answer as to why me?“, david rakoff addressed the cancer treatment that caused the loss of his arm:

” … I’m fortunate in that I am 46 years old, and I do have a nifty little career so that the comma, noun after my name is David Rakoff comma writer. I’m very fortunate in that that’s kind of established, so even if I do lose my arm … I have managed to establish an identity that is based on my internal self, and for that I feel tremendously lucky.”

and maybe that’s all we can do. try to live our lives as best we can, as authentically as we can and one day, like kelli, a series of random events suddenly make sense of the chaos and confusion of what we’ve been living through. maybe like marie and sara and hugh, we express something or create something or do something, no matter how big or how small it may seem, that helps others or helps the planet. most of all, i think we must find a place that brings us calm. for the irishman and me, i’m thinking it’s northern california. i still haven’t figured out my “comma, noun”, but i know the things that matter to me and i have to believe that what i believe will one day, lead me to that comma…

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1 Comment

Filed under culture, food, meatless mondays, modern living

One response to “life, death and…a cookbook?

  1. So beautifully and honestly written, Joyce. In this random world, sometimes the timing and outcome of things seem to have been part of some kind of “plan.” And that is when the struggles and challenges make sense. If we allow spirit to keep moving us forward, those moments will eventually happen. By the way, I think you have a lot to put after that comma after your name: best friend ever, writer, creative genius, seeker, activist…You are already “it” and so much more, my friend.

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