This semester I'm in a class called "Visions of the Future," in which we're talking about some different ideas about what the future will hold. Mostly we'll focus on those visions that are informed by some countercultural perspective, perhaps feminist or queer or postcolonial. But for this week our professor simply asked us to write a vignette describing a sliver of our vision of the future--what we dream or hope the future will be. Because I don't have a picture or dish to post quite yet and I enjoyed writing this, I thought I'd put it up here. Of course, it always comes back to food, and feeding each other.
People from all over town trickle in to the church, tired enough from their walks that they will relish a good meal, but awake and healthy enough that they are as excited to see each other—to hug, to talk, to catch up—as they are to eat. Everyone has brought a little something to share, perhaps a loaf of bread, or carrots from their garden, or a bottle of wine if it’s been a good week. We put down our food and begin to set the table, and no one, not even new people, has to stand around awkwardly waiting for someone to talk to. No one has to ask how to help because it is so clear that this is what we do next. When the tables are set and the candles are lit we all sit down together. Anywhere is fine; there is no wrangling for seats or concern about sitting next to someone I don’t particularly like (or someone who doesn’t particularly like me). We all have a place at the table, and it’s not one that’s been assigned. Perhaps it is chosen for us, but we also choose it.
The meal begins without ceremony or prayer because we know the meal is our prayer. We pass around what we’ve brought without worrying if it’s fancy enough or fresh enough or enough. We do not worry that giving away some of what we have will cause us to run out. We simply provide for each other when need be out of an understanding that nothing we have is ours alone. We eat and drink our fill, then get to the work of clearing plates and wrapping up leftovers and washing dishes together. And we linger, never quite ready to leave this home for another.
There's my vision of the future. What's yours?