all u can eat

Picture of the Day
yesterday | today tomorrow

January 6, 2002

It's good to be back in the neighborhood. Sarah & I
spent Nov and Dec away from home and I didn't
realize how much I missed it until we settled back
in on Jan 1. Dave Benham, who is right about a
great many things (a tendency which makes
people feel threatened by him, myself included),
acknowledges the power of community and
says we're both lucky to have our lives linked
to so many. It's no mystery--just a day-to-day
thing. Slow drizzly Sunday (I missed the rain
when we were away), I say goodbye to Sarah
at Phinney and 36th, have a few hundred feet
to walk to Josh's semi-monthly open studio Sunday
brunch at the Fremont Fine Arts Foundry just across the street.
Before I make it even that far, outside Free Range Cycles on the corner,
I bump into Arne who says, "I want to give you a copy of my new book of poetry."
Life is lived in digressions and side journeys. We go to his place up the street and he lays
DECK HAND ARM on me. It's really good, based on his experience working Alaskan fishing fleets.
I leave when he hints that he'd like to get down to some new writing.
The smell of breakfast pulls me in-
to Josh's like a string. Brown is a real working artist. In addition to cooking for 50 and making great paintings,
he's got a number of products in the works--skullbone bottlestoppers, lungshaped ashtrays, wood frames that look
like splashes. We bartered art for books and I walked home up the hill with this painting wrapped in a plain brown paper
grocery bag, signature still drying. At home, we hosted Steve's potluck supper meeting to discuss a plan for collective living
and cooperation. The talking stick made the rounds and we shared our visions for different arrangements which would support
a community of artists while at the same time connecting with the general public. The first step will be a group party on Feb 1.
Wow, there's a lot going on and I'm sorry to bore you with details, but someone asked me what the point of this site is
and I think as I approach the 4th anniversary of Picture of the Day, I have an answer: to inspire positive action. What's that?

Well, if you've been following the site lately, you might conclude it has a lot to do with food--and you'd be right!
Eating is a basic human need, and foodsharing is one of the first behaviors observed in children. After rereading
Brave New World and 1984, I'm no longer an utopian. There is no answer. But I do think there are day-to-day
practices which make life more enjoyable--and they have nothing to do with shopping. Cooking
for others is an exercise in generosity. You are what you eat. Don't be processed meat.