08 May Kitchen Tables + Feeling Less Alone
“I experience tremendous relief in talking about the tough stuff with other people. At the simplest level it makes me feel less alone.”
-Molly Wizenberg, Episode 17 of The Food Podcast
I’ve written about Molly before – she’s a writer, creator of the James Beard award winning blog Orangette, co-owner of two Seattle restaurants and co-host of the Spilled Milk Podcast.
Molly says when she’s writing about food, she’s actually writing about people. This is why her work resonates with me. Diving deeper than the ingredients themselves unleashes the real flavours. The complexities of life. The tough stuff.
Molly and I spoke over skype. I was in the studio in Halifax, she was sitting at her kitchen table, a third hand mid century modern gem, situated in the centre of her home. It’s where she writes, eats, sews and does her taxes.
I called the episode Stories From The Kitchen Table. I love the notion that tables are witness to life, to food, to writing sessions, to strewn newspapers, to sewing projects, and in Molly’s case, to breakups and new beginnings. They see -and support- it all.
My friends chipped in and gave us our kitchen table as a wedding gift. It’s a metal table, made of stainless steel and rebar. My friend Jodie was dating a restauranteur at the time, the table comes from his now defunct restaurant – The Velvet Olive. Fittingly the four seats are upholstered in velvet; the undersides are leopard print – a little secret surprise when you tip them upside down. The set has travelled to London and back with us. I used to lay a sheepskin across the top and nestle my newborn on it while I sipped my morning coffee.
It’s back in our lives again after being in storage for many years. We moved last year, and this table is the only one small enough to fit in our little kitchen. There are three boys now. We have to squish to fit around the table. It won’t last for long.
I too write at this table. Right now it’s covered with a bright Marimekko wax-coated fabric. My lap top is here, along with an empty glass of green juice. Residue is drying on the sides; it’s time to stretch, get up, and wash some dishes.
I hope you get a chance to listen to this episode. Yes, we touch on life, stories and tables, but there are also some valuable tips from Molly on writing: how to stay seated at the table. How to sink into your work. How to hang out in the tough stuff, even when you really just want to be done with it.
Then, as she says above, we have to share the tough stuff with others, because that is when we’ll feel less alone.
ps photo above – Molly’s kitchen table via Instagram
pps you’ll find a pic of my kitchen table, the wedding gift, over here