Sunday, September 1, 2013
Lately, I have been thinking about gathering around the table. Last week I attended a small off Broadway play called The Kitchen Table, starring a dear friend who I also happen to share a kitchen table with. A play by Erin Breznitsky and directed by Tamara Winters, The Kitchen Table was a series of vignettes that told the story of what happens around the kitchen table–those deep conversations that take place, the tough decisions, the laughs, the tears, and the heartache.
I left the theater thinking about the kitchen tables in my life. My childhood kitchen table had a wooden lip along the bottom that stuck out just enough to bruise my knee every time I forgot it was there. I have fond memories of sitting under that table with my yellow lab and looking at everyone’s shoes, tempted to untie all the shoelaces. My childhood kitchen table is where I spread out the glue and the glitter for crafting and creating. It’s the table where stories were written, writers gathered together to talk, parties were hosted. That table is where we had long soup dinners, where I filled out my college applications, where we talked about vacations, current events, shared ideas, laughed, cried, paid bills, threw New Yorker’s, spilled, read, worked, and relaxed. That table was always set with candles–it still is. My grandfather always sits on the far end, and my yellow lab can still be found under it.
My current kitchen table is long, it can accommodate anywhere from 1 to 20 people. It always has a current issue of The New York Times waiting for the morning coffee drinkers. Occasionally it is adorned with small white tea candles or fresh flowers from the farmer’s market. That table has a long history, holds stories long before my time, and has gathered together people from all walks of life, from all over the world.
Someday I want a farm table. I want to feel the grooves and the splinters. I want to gather an array of benches for friends and loved ones. I want to make memories that will last a lifetime. This table will seat over a dozen, with lots of leafs, heavy, and sturdy. This table will be one of a kind; will smell of cedar and pine.
And sometimes I dream about who I would invite to sit at my dream farm table. Here is the list:
Barack &Michelle Obama
Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu
…The list is still growing and I am still dreaming…
This cup is for Mel, who brought a kitchen table to life on stage, and who I am lucky enough to share a real kitchen table with here at home.