We heard from Leila Meacham, the east Texas author of Roses, a book compared with "Gone With the Wind" that has now been added to my "To Read" list. After living a pretty full life, she woke up retired one day with the question of what to do with herself. She turned the question over to a higher power who responded that if she just finished the book she started so many years ago, He would handle the rest. So that's what she did and there in her 70's published the book she had dreamt of writing/finishing her whole life, only to have it end up smack dab on the NYTimes Best Sellers list.
We also heard from Frank Deford, the sportswriter, who has just written a book called "Bliss, Remembered." I think when he first got up to speak everyone prepared themselves to feel a bit sympathetic to the athlete-author and were totally caught off guard to how hilarious, if not handsome he was.
|or is he a bit lady's man-ish?|
Both authors had such s'morish qualities in that neither of them were too intimidatingly accomplished prior, but in their pursuits to do something, succeeded ten fold. It's what you do with your marshmallow the counts of course. We also heard testimonials of doctors and cancer survivors about the process of treatment from both sides, culminating in an unspoken but very clear cross-section about the power of people caring for others.
And while Alton wasn't the only highlight after-all, something that he said during his short segment has stuck with me all the way through last night when I was one of probably 30 people in a yoga class, taking a child's pose time-out wondering how and why it was that all of these people were in the same yoga class right now. I feel like no one really used to do yoga, now everyone does and I wondered what brought them all in. It reminded me of his perspective on the trend of people watching the Food Network, especially in hospitals, and how it said something about us as people living in this time and the degree of comfort we seem to get from something as random as The Food Network.
His understanding of this new interest, fascination, obsession with food, cooking, and eating was all about how living in this time in a "fractured" country without one concept of God, having various political beliefs, and a constant inundation of media, that people rely on food to bring them around a table together to share something that knocks down all of those boundaries and be right there, present and connecting in an authentic way.
As someone who prizes sitting at a table with the people I care about, I can definitely understand that concept. As I can the concept of giving thanks for that. And I think in its simplicity, that message resonated, and in its essence might touch on one of the most authentic ways of being religious...
All in all, I was happy to go and really impressed with the caliber of production and representation of San Antonio and its resources, both in people and in facilities like the UT Health Science Center.