"Like the study of science and art, accounts of historical events can be intrinsically fascinating. But they have a wider significance. I believe that people are better able to chart their life course and make life decisions when they know how others have dealt with pressures and dilemmas---historically, contemporaneously, and in works of art. And only equipped with such understanding can we participate knowledgeably in contemporary discussions (and decisions) about the culpability of various individuals and countries in the Second World War. Only with such understanding can we ponder the responsibilty of human beings everywhere to counter current efforts at genocide in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia to bring the perpetrators to justice."
"...we humans are the kinds of animals who learn chiefly by observing others---what they value, what they spurn, how they conduct themselves from day to day, and especially, what they do when they believe that no one is looking."
----Howard Gardner, from The Disciplined Mind, published in 1999

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sometimes Pie Just Isn't Pie; or, I'll Meet You at King's Anytime, Anywhere

I would like to revisit yesterday's post wherein an apple pie featured most prominently.
In college, I had some difficulties, as we all sometimes do. The nature of the difficulty that causes me to revisit yesterday's post? One that many of us have dealt with: an eating disorder.

So it is the apple pie brings a specific image to mind, the image of one of the best acts of kindness I've ever experienced. During this time of eating disorder, my roommate would take me to a chain restaurant, the kind that one can find all over the US, the family-style, home-style joints. Once a week, she would take me to this establishment and order one of their signature desserts, hot apple pie topped with cinnamon ice cream; and when it came, she would nonchalantly put the plate in the middle of the table, the two forks akimbo on the china plate, and pretend that that pie, that ice cream, didn't, to put it simply, scare me to death. Then we would eat and pretend, and kept at it, until we could simply eat, and enjoy.
I think often about her kindness and generousity of spirit evidenced in that simple weekly act of hers.

In doing so, she taught me how to be with Batman (code name) when he had to eat a bite of ham sandwich from his lunchbox before he could eat his favored food. (His family had consulted a nutritionist because his sensory affinities gave him one-dimensional nutrition, and he was on a schedule to sample new foods; to do this was most frightening to him.)
Whenever I am on the road, and see that franchise, I must stop.
Here, I say to my family, my joy, have some.
And we are all the more happy for it.
Never assume, dear reader, that an act of yours can be too little or too late.
Right, Nae?


The Artist formerly Known as Purpleworms (!) said...

I find the image from your room mate's favorite chapel a bit incongruous with the generosity of heart demonstrated. (A heart bound and limited by thorns). The suffereing of the Christ is indeed cast as his own generosity, but I do not see or perhaps do not wish to see the connection of suffereing with apple pie.

neroli said...

Dear Artist, your comments are, as always illuminating (to borrow your word)!
The inclusion of the image was somewhat capricious on my part, sort of a "shout out," if you will, should she ever come upon these pages. The image itself was very eblematic of her at the time that I knew her: she felt many constraints, yet sought out what she felt was the Big Love----I believe that was how she even put it. It's been a while.
So I've revised the post. Part of the writing process, yes?
Sometimes one needs to leave only the essential.

min said...

Sometimes eating a piece of pie can be suffering. I get this!

neroli said...