my arm

now you see it:

now you don't:

it is really hard to take a photo while wearing that piece of gruyere.


i've been thinking a lot about friends and friendships lately. actually, it's one of the things i think a lot about pretty much all of the time. it's just that lately, i haven't had much to do other than think.

it could be because of who i am, or maybe because i was raised with two cultures, or perhaps because i am simply a dilettante, but i have always had many different friends, all from various parts of my life. i've never been a person with a close-knit circle of friends, and most of the time, the people around me are really confused about who's playing a role in which story, since most of my friends have never met one another.

sometimes, this really makes me sad. sometimes, i wish i had a few people who all knew me and each other equally well. but most of the time, i really love having different people mean different things to me. i love having friends with whom i can argue about the supremacy of one farm's produce over another's (for hours). and other friends who drag me out on scary 20-mile hikes under false pretenses. i have friends i can discuss poetry with, or speak farsi with, or admit my secret love of bad books to. i am a confidante to some, one who comforts to others, and most often, one who just slaps people upside the head and grounds them back in reality (very little tolerance for bullshit). there are some i spend the entire day cooking with, and learn from, and others who won't let me near the kitchen because of the terrorist i can be. some are writers i look to for advice, and others are major networkers who can connect me to almost anyone in a degree or two of separation. my youngest friend is 5 years old and my oldest, 75.

and it makes me sad to say that many of my best friends live in far away places like hawaii, the east coast (where, exactly, is sarasota?), northern washington and pakistan. i see most of these people once or twice a year, but somehow when we're together, it feels like we've never been apart.

i had a friendship several years ago that taught me more about myself, love, beauty, pain, and the world than anything up until that point ever had. at the time, i felt it was boundless. i'd never had such a friend, one who didn't put up silly walls between us just because society dictated it. one of the things this friend and i decided was that one day, we would get married to one another, not as husband and wife, but as best friends. we were going to create a whole new type of relationship--one that i doubt i could explain in any way that makes sense. but the best part of the whole thing was that we were going to have this big party to celebrate, with good food, and our families and all of our friends. i'd never envisioned such a grand, inclusive affair.

later, i started working at cp, and became a part of something beyond my imagination: a humongous family that spans generations, from every corner of the world; a group of people, who no matter how different, all care deeply about many of the same things, and have the same sense of quality. it was amazing. and there were (and continue to be) some very special parties. grand parties that showed me the potential a party can have, to be something more than just an afternoon with some food and wine. parties that stay with you as the best day you've ever had.

once, or maybe twice, a year i am able to gather most of my disparate friends (not the ones who live in exotic places like new haven, ct) in one place for a party. i get to be around so many people i love in so many different ways--it really is amazing. however, i still haven't figured out a way to get my family here (this year, it looked like my parents might come, but the chance of that has passed). the magic of the cp parties remains my goal--i just like people to be together and have fun. this year, the party is at the farm, and we're going to have tah-chin with lamb, one of my favorite childhood dishes, and hand-crank some ice cream. won't you come join us?