Wednesday, April 02, 2008

a memory of perfect clarity

in may of 2003, i attended a conference in arizona. since i had attended arizona state and gathered an extra master's there, i had old friends to catch up with while i was in the area. one such friend invited me to a wonderful gathering which included others of his old friends. he was still in a ph.d. program at asu and so it was a very intellectual evening, which i remember very clearly and very fondly.

husband and i were making our driftwood people at that point and so i took one to my friend...a whimsical little man, holding a hand-blown shot glass which we'd once bought on bornholm in his hands which were fastened out of wire. usually our driftwood people have a quote on them, but it escapes me what his quote was and i can't, in the chaos of our house-in-limbo building project, locate the picture at the moment.

the evening was wonderful. a small group of 6-8 people, who had lived all over the world, all highly educated and with something interesting to say. i remember thinking throughout the evening that the only thing missing was that husband wasn't there to meet everyone and share in the discussion, because he would have loved it.

i remember that we had a very simple meal of gazpacho--it was, after all, arizona, and although it was may, it was already quite hot. i remember that soup so clearly, it was the best gazpacho i've had...with a hint of black fig vinegar in it and served with pumpkin seeds and other yummy things to sprinkle in. i've taken inspiration from it, although i've never really duplicated the delicious depth, and even when i make chili, i serve all kinds of extras that people can sprinkle in.

there was a couple there who lived in spain. the husband was an illustrator--an editorial artist, actually. he did illustrations for publications like the LA Times and the Washington Post. Very political, very erudite and very thought-provoking. my friend and i got back in touch recently on facebook and he just happened to mention that he was going to visit this friend and his wife in barcelona this summer. and then i mentioned that i am going to barcelona tomorrow and i'd love to meet up with them. and suddenly, i had their email and then today, i made plans to meet them for a late dinner tomorrow night when we get in. so, husband will get to meet them at last! and i'm sure that we'll have great food and great conversation. it's too bad larry won't be there! we might have to go back when he's there this summer.

it somehow strikes me that it wasn't mere coincidence that larry and i got back in touch and he mentioned javier and barcelona right when we were going there. too many things had to align for it to be mere coincidence. serendipity? fortituous circumstance? fate? god? interesting to ponder...i guess i'd like to think we make our own luck. but, whatever it is, i'm looking forward to meeting them again tomorrow night.

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