Those in attendance probably didn’t notice, but I held a wake last night.
The book signing at Francie & Finch was a culmination of many years and of energy expended to sustain an idea. One that was bigger than the restaurant, Bigger than simple food and drink. And hopefully, bigger than me.
The desire to matter has always been a current flowing through my life. And as I shared the story about my dad from page 39, I think this is where those headwaters began. I was shaped by the example of a simple, yet thoughtful man who loved his wife and children, led a quiet life tending to his trees and rural property and maintained a deep abiding faith that I want to emulate. I don’t know that dad would ever concur with my sentiment. I’m not sure he sought to make a difference. He just did.
Maybe it’s the generation into which I was born. I’ve never been through war. I’ve never gone hungry. I’ve had most everything I wanted. I’ve lived a comfortable life. I’ve gained much in my days on earth. Could it be this is the impetus for the question: What would I leave behind?
Over time, as the weight of the dream of bread&cup started to cause my shoulders to sag, it was the desire for it to matter that got me up at 4am the next day to do it all over again.
Someone asked me if last night’s event was a dream come true. I said no. That’s because I never dreamed of writing a book. I didn’t think it was a story worth telling. Who would want to read about a restaurant that closed. This was the story I told myself.
For me, writing is similar to cooking. I’m preparing something for you to consume, to take into you and let it have an effect on you. Hopefully it’s to nourish and delight you, but fearfully that it might displease or bore you. It was this trepidation that kept me from the risk of reaching inside and printing a piece of my soul on pages bound in hardcover for all to see. Was I ready for that?
The thing that changed my mind about creating the book was discovering a different story. A story about a restaurant that closed is too small. A story about how Hope inspired me, sustained me and is currently holding me up? Now that story might be worth the risk.
As I left the bookshop, on the way to my car, a familiar feeling hit me. It’s a feeling I’m well acquainted with. Why was I grieving on a night I should be happy and celebrating? I had texted Warrior earlier and that’s when he said I was preparing for a wake. I was in the process of laying an important season to rest. He was there before it all began. He experienced the same personal transformation by Hope that the building of bread&cup forged in me. It was through this lens of perspective he could see to the end.
The life of the restaurant has concluded, but new Hope is only beginning. The book is my symbol of that transition.