I’m doing a lot of knitting today while my cabbage stew is quietly brewing on the stove top. It’ll be ready soon, but in the meantime, I was working up a bear and watching Rick Steves’ Europe on Hulu. Just because I have problems traveling short distances, doesn’t mean I can’t travel in my mind, right? I was watching one of his pieces on Istanbul. I’ve always wanted to visit Istanbul. I want to see whirling dervishes. Real ones. Not dervishes on tour. I want to see them there in Istanbul. Swirling in prayer. And as I was watching the program he made a mention of one thing that called back so many memories I had to stop what I was doing to laugh a little bit. Rick Steves mentioned Donner Kebabs and I had instantly went into a trance of memory.
As some of you know, I lived in Berlin when I was a young man. I lived in Dahlem, in the south western part of the city. And on many occasion I would rush into the center, to the Ku’Damm with friends, to slosh around a Gothic club or two. Yes, you may not know this about me, but I was a very prized dancer in my day. 🙂 We would hit the Linientreu, spend all evening listening to what we all know as classics. Alien Sex Fiend. The Sisters of Mercy. Dance or Die. Depeche. Siouxsie. My friends and I would spill out of the Linientreu, or the Madhouse in Kreuzburg late in the evening, heading for the last U-Bahn (subway) that would take us home. Without fail, there was always a kiosk with Donner Kebabs on the way home. Oh, mercy. Drunk and stoned off hashish (come on, I was 18), nothing gave more comfort into sobriety before heading home than a Donner Kebab. That richly spiced lamb cut thinly, smothered in a lovely, spicy sauce and gingerly placed inside a coven of folded flat bread was the highlight of the evening. I could go home (hopeful) that my parents had no clue I was a little screwed up 🙂 When people find out I lived in Berlin for 5 years they ask me how the German food was, and I can honestly say, “I have no idea. If I wasn’t eating Turkish food, I was eating Burger King, McDonald’s. Pizza Hut.”
And the waft of my cabbage stew slowly snaked its way back into my mind, bringing me back to today. To here. To now. No memories of past. I was standing in my 2 foot kitchen with a wooden spoon stirring it slowly and I smiled. I thought of the memories good food remind us of.
Someday, I’m going to look back and think about a day when I was broke, no money, but so happy with a pot of cabbage stew. I’m going to look back and recall fondly a day where it rained, and all I had to my name was ambition, where my long fingers spent their days working up teddy bears to life….and I loved every minute of it. Great things will happen someday, and I just can’t wait for the day a memory brings me back here…..where life felt good having but a few things.
…..the good moments that happen now should always be kept for safekeeping…..They’re always a much needed smile in later days.
The lesson? Whatever you do, have a great NOW. There is nothing better for the spirit than enjoying what you have NOW.
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