Saturday, April 25, 2009

Salami and memories

I woke slowly this morning. I'm always glad for that. For the opportunity that the weekends offer to drift in and out of sleep for a few hours without worrying that I need to be someplace.

My roommate and I had made plans to head for the farmer's market this morning, but she wasn't awake yet, so I showered slowly, made and ate some breakfast slowly, and curled up on my bed to read.

Eventually we headed out.

I go to the farmer's market when I need a "hippy, bohemian, life-giving colors and sights and sounds and scents" fix. I needed that fix today. I didn't really plan to buy anything, just wanted to walk the aisles, try all the miniature food samples, and look at pretty things. I did those things, but ended up buying some salami from a little European style sausage and butcher shop as well. Parmesan salami.

I haven't had that since I was in Europe last year. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever seen it here before. I have an oddly fond memory of a scattered together lunch of chunks of bread and cheese and salami in St. Peter's Square on the now infamous "Thursday in Rome". Of eating those things, of sitting with friends who were really more like family, even of cringing just a little as the wind carried spray from a fountain over me, affecting the thoughts I was already struggling with on that crazy day.

Water and bread and meat and cheese and life. So intermingled. The warmth of the dear friend I was sitting against. The surreal nature of sitting, picnicking in this place I'd studied at such length in school. The beauty and pain that marked those moments for me.

After the farmer's market we ran a few more errands, the library, and a grocery store.

And then home.

I'm curled up again in my bedroom, eating lunch. A thick slice of buttered, European style bread that we often buy to make toast and garlic bread with to accompany our dinners. A perfectly ripened mango, tangy and sweet. And parmesan salami.

And the memories and prayers that accompany them all.