{of kitchen tables} and other things

I was not able to attend today.

I have decided to turn my mind to think about issues I have been brushing against this week.

Not the core things, but the light wafts of thought, and feeling that have danced through the days

They that seem to have come together now.

I read this:

Time for a “wePhone”?

do read it.

down where Jessica Raya is examining costs, she mentions one price paid is ‘The four-hour meals’.

This bought to mind a public private conversation I had with Margaret Fulton. She was a guest at the Somerset Literary Festival a few years ago.  We were in the school hall for a presentation as well as Q & A session with this wonderful Australian Cook.  Thus we were in public. I stood to ask a question. She and I engaged in a discussion on the value of kitchen tables, of eating at them.  It was commented to me afterwards that MF and I had in essence been having a private conversation whilst in a public forum. I concur. And it was great.

Jessica Raya’s observation ‘we have never been more connected or more lonely’ while not original resonates with a greater intensity in the context of her post, and in the context of the things I am thinking about.

I look at the small food stain on my chair from a meal the other day, and I think about the dining table I don’t have.

I think about the 6 foot long table we were given from someone’s garage when we lived in another city.  I think about the times gathered around it: plain and simple, beautifully dressed and adorned – the table not us. Though perhaps us as well.

I thought about how we missed that table when we relocated. About how we made a family decision to turn the phone off so that we could save the money for a new table. I thought about the seven layers of sanding and varnishing that was undertaken and the signatures of the workers inscribed underneath. I wondered where that table is now.

This of course bought me to thoughts of family gatherings. Real and dreamed of. (images)

I thought about Saturday lunches with Missionaries. Not to mention breakfasts. (image)

Evening meals with friends. Special dinners, and in our home breakfasts with family.

About creative table settings. (images)

I thought about Sunday Correlation Brunches.

Boys that cut all the white off an egg and put the whole yolk in their mouth in one go.

I thought about the things I learnt at my parents table; the things I taught at mine.

I thought about last Tuesday night watching 5 little girls all sitting around a table eating a wonderful tasty healthy dinner. Their skills and their interactions. A thoughtful Aunt who asked each niece ‘do you like potato, pumpkin, carrot, etc whilst already knowing what her girls would eat.

I thought about the unification that food brings: its planning, purchasing, preparation as well as its consumption.

I thought about dogs, cats, children, parents, grandmothers, homes, apartments, tables, food, and family.

Togetherness.  Being-there-ness. Belonging.

I don’t think we need iPhones or wePhones.

We all need kitchen tables (whatever room they are in) where iPhones/all mobile-cell phones are banned. Indeed turned off, or at the very least to silent and checked into a kitchen drawer for several hours.

We need Voice mail that tells a caller “I am having a meal with my family, don’t expect to hear from me for a few hours. If it’s life & death call 000/911 but everything else can wait. It will have to my phone is locked in a drawer and my mother has the key on a chain around her neck.”



About Jane

Learning through living and writing the lessons
This entry was posted in Belonging, Families, Service, Special Events. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to {of kitchen tables} and other things

  1. Lyn Meiklejohn says:

    Yes, I remember a special kitchen table – though more like a dining room table. Having a chair that everyone accepted was mine. Grabbing food behind me from a servery shelf and thinking this table extends when there are others and shrinks when we don’t. How can I cram one more dish on to it. We sat on stools, crowded more around that table than I thought humanly possible. There never seemed to be silence except during the blessing. There was always chatter and we didn’t have the TV on. Nor the radio. Nor the sound system. The chatter just came from us. All the chairs were filled at our table. There was acceptance and love, laughter and tantrums, seriousness and friendly argument. I can’t say that we solved the world’s problems or did anything really momentous in making things different but we did seem to do a lot of business over that table inside the family walls. How I miss the table. Mine has gone now too.

  2. Marsha Markham says:

    What a lovely post. I agree with every word that is said. Many of us lead lives too filled with media. You walk down the street and see so many people plugged into music or a cell phone.

  3. Marsha Markham says:

    Oops…see, I’m not that good with media (grin). I wasn’t finished writing. Anyway, this is a big, big concern of mine; not connecting with others or with the Spirit because we’ve made ourselves too busy. Another thing I feel concern over is how people fill their lives with drivel…too many movies and watching programs like “Dancing With The Stars”. To get back to the subject of tables, I have a fantasy of my long departed Father sitting around the dining room table where his Swedish parents presided. I feel like, when I get to Heaven, it will all be there and I’ll once again get to enjoy a meal with everyone. We just moved my Mother into an assisted living facility and I brought home a cedar chest that her Mother once owned. It was filled with the most beautiful linens (in fact, I put a lovely hand crocheted pillow case on my pillow last night and slept with the smell of cedar)…doilies and runners, hand embroidered and crocheted hankies, bedspreads and tablecloths. I feel so wealthy to have this treasure box at the foot of my bed and plan to share some of my bounty with two of my cousins and use the rest. Thanks for your thoughts…

  4. Colleen O'Grady says:

    I can remember family gatherings around the table, special occassions, picnics for a mob of us in some park, having to take out own chairs at times because they were scarce in the honoured home, listening to the chatter, catching up on family informations, kids running around everywhere, catching up with their cousins. Love and laughter

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