Friday, June 8, 2018

Good night, Traveler


"Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you... You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”  —Anthony Bourdain

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To me, Anthony Bourdain always looked as if he'd just woken up from a bender. I read that story in the craggy map of his face, his eyes melancholy and much too aware, even when he was laughing. Later, he told us he had in fact been on many benders, he struggled to leave heroin behind, he kept cooking, traveling, weathering the electric shocks of simply being alive in the body he was in. I loved that he sought out people on the fringes, learning their food and eating with them, making us see their lives. I thought, naively, that he was gentling into middle age, growing into a sensibility that felt life too keenly, that couldn't shake off the jangle of the world. Last night, he took his own life. Fellow chef Eric Ripert, who was filming an episode for Bourdain's CNN show, Parts Unknown, found him unresponsive in his hotel room in France. With his death coming so soon after designer Kate Spade took her life two days ago, I feel pummeled. We look at people who seem to have everything they might dream, and we have no idea of their demons. Best to be kind, because we cannot know. I will miss you, traveler, and the way you lit up the corners.


8 comments:

  1. I was just talking with a friend about this -- how we can never know what's going on inside another person, and how we often assume so much that isn't at all correct. It is a shame about Bourdian. I read "Kitchen Confidential" years ago and really liked it.

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  2. I just felt compelled to write a little thing too. Funny how some celebrity deaths just rock us to the core. I've been weeping all morning. Your words here say a lot of the same things I said but oh, you said them so much better. But at least I know that we feel so much the same about this loss and about the man he was. And that does not surprise me. I love you. And yes, let's be kind.

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  3. You have written so eloquently about him. I am sad that he has left this world.

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  4. We just never really know the suffering of others, and so we must treat everyone with kindness. Such a time we are living in, such a time.

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  5. Despair...go about and "lite up the corners" , Thank you for this post, weeping.

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  6. “... felt life too keenly.” Yes. We really don’t know what people are going through and it’s a powerful reminder to be kind. Thank you sweet soul.

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  7. Oh, yes -- the way he lit up the corners. Such a sad, sad day. It's been difficult not to walk around stunned.

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