I'm off to my favorite meeting place--Bernie Glassman's inspired Stone Soup Cafe in Greenfield, MA. More than a soup kitchen, the Stone Soup Cafe seeks to bring diverse groups of people together in its "pay as you can" model. The inspiration is about building community where everyone makes a contribution and is a valued presence. Hence, the old folk tale "Stone Soup" in the name, which is a universal story about the power of cooperation found in many cultures.
I try to go most every Saturday to meet friends and colleagues. But I have also met marvelous people randomly sitting at my table. Today's menu looks enticing "An Italian Love Feast." I'm meeting M. (my friend who doesn't like being on the internet who invited her neighbor. The overall dining experience is uplifted with tables formally set, elegant menus, culinary excellence including gluten free options, live music and an atmosphere of friendliness whether one can pay or not. Kudos to development director Ari Pliskin!
[Bernie, Eve and Ari]
On their website there is a poem by Jane Kenyon which they say embodies the spirit of their work:
I am the blossom pressed in a book,
found again after two hundred years. . . .
I am the maker, the lover, and the keeper. . . .
When the young girl who starves
sits down to a table
she will sit beside me. . . .
I am food on the prisoner's plate. . . .
I am water rushing to the wellhead,
filling the pitcher until it spills. . . .
I am the patient gardener
of the dry and weedy garden. . . .
I am the stone step,
the latch, and the working hinge. . . .
I am the heart contracted by joy. . .
the longest hair, white
before the rest. . . .
I am there in the basket of fruit
presented to the widow. . . .
I am the musk rose opening
unattended, the fern on the boggy summit. . . .
I am the one whose love
overcomes you, already with you
when you think to call my name. . . .