Monday, May 9, 2011

Final Finals

I should be writing my final finals - specifically an 8-pager that is due in less than 24 hours. However, if I can't crank out a meesley 8-pager in under 2 hours at this point, what on earth have I gotten out of graduate school really?

Which brings me here, to a rather philosophical place at the end of my time in school - possibly for ever and certainly for the foreseeable time being. Over these past few months I have found myself questioning (especially in the wee small hours) if Food Studies was my proper path, stretching to remember what brought me here in the first place, scrambling for a reassuring remembrance of my love of food. That one elusive thought that would make the vortex of debt into which I slip less like a spinning, tightening, opaquely doom-filled vortex and more like a big hammock of accomplishment, piled high with those fluffy pink clouds that Care Bears live on.

The fluffy pink pile of clouds to fall into came to me in the form of this book :

"Far Flung and Well Fed" is a collection of the food writing of the irreplaceable R.W. Apple, whose writing I found uniquely engrossing before I even realized exactly who he was. I stumbled into his work as a teenager, as a weekly browser of the New York Times Dining section. Over time, I came to know his name merely because when a piece would particularly strike me as special somehow the way that great writing does, it would invariably be his name in the byline.

I have missed the presence of his writing more than I realized. When I happened into this book on Amazon at the beginning of April, I ordered it on a whim - such a whim that it's arrival a week later took me by surprise. I shoved it in my purse for some rebellious non-school reading without a thought and went on my merry way. Later that day as I rode home in the dreary sleepiness of a 6pm subway car, I stood reading the introduction - R.W. Apple's reflections on a life of good food and great times - and my eyes welled up. Whatever assurance I was seeking I somehow found in the beauty of his words, a beauty that I can't bring myself to describe here because I could never do him justice. Buy the book, steal it, check it out, borrow it from me but GIVE IT BACK - do what you have to do, just read it. Your vortex will thank you.

1 comment:

Chelsea said...

YES! I struggle with this often (I think it's an academic thing...or at least a grad student thing). But, a new food book recommended by YOU? I'm all over it :)

Good luck with finishing, lovely. You can do it!