Saturday, September 27, 2008

Breaking Bread

The Cobbler and I have reached a milestone in our relationship--I've started "sharing" his food. The first time it was because I wanted seconds but didn't have time to wait in line again, so I liberated a piece of turkey from his plate and ate it. Most of the time, though, there's no such logical reason. I just think his food looks good. In fact, during those times there's a logical reason not to take his food. He's about 102% of my height but only 70% of my weight--in other words, he's thin. He needs his food. I do not need his food.

Of course, this food-sharing relationship is not entirely one-sided. I love cooking for the Cobbler. Once I got mad at him because I had a lovely lunch planned and he showed up an hour and a half late. (It wasn't his fault.) I'm continually donating baked goods to the Make the Cobbler Fatter fund. They're handy because you can give them to somebody a week after you make them and they're still good.

A little while ago I was sitting sharing the Cobbler's midnight snack and commented that sharing food creates a relationship. He asked, somewhat incredulously, "So, every time you have someone over for dinner they become family?" At the risk of sounding ridiculous, I said yes. The Greeks knew that--Zeus would smite you if you abused the guest-host relationship, and people remembered that. Recall, if you will, the scene in the Iliad in which Diomedes and a Trojan warrior (I should remember his name but don't) exchange armor because somebody's grandfather visited somebody else's great-grandfather or some such thing. The relationship between guest and host still held true a few generations later.

It's something we know, or should know, from our Judeo-Christian roots as well. Read the Old Testament sometime. What are they always doing? Making covenants. What do covenants do? They form relationships. Pretty much all the time, the covenant ceremony involves two things: sacrifice and the breaking of bread. The meal is a part of forming the relationship. Then we have the Eucharist, which is sacrifice and meal all in one; which is the sign that we are members of Christ's family.

1 comment:

Theocentrica said...

My family takes that one step farther.... practically anyone who rings the doorbell is automatically a long-lost cousin. Maybe because we're homeschooled recluses. ^_^