Have you seen the movie Babette’s Feast? I think it conveys a strong message about serving our families with excellence and artistic sensitivity. One of my favorite parts, early in the movie, is watching the old man’s reaction to the one bowl of soup Babette kindly placed in front of him. That kindness was spread throughout the soup by her care with the spices. Food can be a carrier of meaning…as any endeavor can be if one elevates it by one’s care.
The other thing that I found most memorable about the movie was to see ordinary people caught up in art, finding to their surprise a part of their own humanity that they didn’t know existed. In this case it was the art of dining...several courses…savored…eaten slowly (we would omit the alcohol) caused another part of them to wake up…communicating lovingly with one another on another level…not just knowing one another in a one-dimensional functional setting of work.
These sorts of momentary aches, brought on by art, teach us that there is another existence somewhere, of which this is only the prelude. The German philosopher Goethe said, “There is so much in us that longs yet to be developed, even when we are old, that it indicates that we were created ultimately for a life beyond this.”