Cooking for Peace and Justice

Shortly after the election, I joined a group of neighbors to share notes on what constructive actions we might start, or continue, taking. In addition to big-P political action, we decided to start Soup Fridays. We have a large community kitchen, where we can enjoy meals together at cost (usually about $5 a head), already. Sometimes guests join us, but mostly we just use those meals to stay connected outside of work parties and business meeting. (This is co-housing, a form of intentional community that works very much like a self-managed condo association – but nicer.)

With the clear prospect of activism fatigue already looming, it was suggested that Soup Nights stay simple – the volunteer cook donates time and ingredients, and serves just soup and bread. They, or the group that night, decide what organization to donate the money raised to. Diners contribute whatever they can ($5 min suggested, but no one checks and no one is turned away). Since the idea is to strenghten our larger community connections, we’ve had more guests than usual. It’s been fun, and the dinner discussions lively.

My friend and neighbor Jane hopped onto the volunteer cook list right away, and then started adding meals to her repertoire. She’s been engaged in the big-P work too, marching and phone calling, and taking other actions. But like all of us, the feeling of being engaged in a constant battle is overwhelming and can turn to the negative far too easily. Jane wanted to support others doing work she believes in, in a way that expresses her love, with no overlay of confrontation. And so, she explained, she is “cooking for peace and justice.”

I’m glad Jane has found a way to feed and nourish that part of herself, and always grateful to anyone who wants to feed me, too. Sitting down to the table with friends new and old really does nurture my soul.

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