Art as Prayer

Last spring I spent the better half of the month of May (including my wedding anniversary and the holiday weekend) on the Cape with a dog named Buster.

Upstairs, in what was meant to be the empty owner’s quarters, a feisty Venezuelan woman invited me to dinner on the patio or out into her gardens or up to her picture window to sip wine as the sun set over the bay.

I’d come to write and walk the dog along the shore but soon I’d added friendship to what was meant to be a solo sojourn.

On my last evening in the apartment beneath Lisette’s, the cherry blossoms were spent but summer had inched her way forward, sun-kissed our skin from a day at the beach, and my new friend insisted on taking me out to dinner, to a favorite of hers, a place in town called Ihaho.

She did the ordering.

She should have saved the appetizer for last.

One bite of the scallop roll and I wanted to weep or lie down in the booth across from the chef and die.

La petite mort. (Excuse my French.)

The last time I’d tasted something that exquisite was 2012 in a restaurant atop the city of Kobe. An entire table of colleagues, representing every continent around the globe, was silenced after the first bite, our eyes widened toward one another.

Would that I find my way to the kind of excellence that doesn’t make the reader want more.

Salt. Butter. Sugar.
Easy avenues of seduction.

But to write or cook or compose or dance in such a way that one can hardly take another breath, this is prayer.

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