Beyond the Kitchen

A Dedication

costa rica waterfall

Hello friends!  I’ve been in Costa Rica this week getting a sunburn on my scalp, eating ceviche like it’s going out of style, learning how to surf, and mostly thinking thoughts about what I’m going to cook for you this Spring and into our future.  I needed a bit of a get away to think my thoughts.  Maybe my brain works best from under a sun burnt scalp.  That’s probably it.

I’ve also been reading a lot of non-Internet words on this little getaway.  Books… those are non-Internet words.  They’re pretty cool.

East of Eden is my very favorite book of all time.  It’s John Steinbeck at his absolute everything.  It’s epic and heartbreaking and if you haven’t had your heart destroyed by this book then I would recommend that you add this work of art to your Spring reading list.

I took some time to read the dedication to East of Eden this week.  Something that I had skipped in my regular life of haphazard efficiency.  The dedication alone stopped me dead in my tracks.  The dedication alone is a compilation of words more beautiful that I’ve ever written in my whole life.  Just the dedication!  How’s that for something?

Steinbeck dedicated East of Eden to his dear friend and editor Pascal ‘Pat’ Covici.   This:

Dear Pat,
You came upon me carving some kind of little figure out of wood and you said, “Why don’t you make something for me?”
I asked you what you wanted, and you said, “A box.”
“What for?”
“To put things in.”
“What kind of things?”
“Whatever you have,” you said.
Well, here’s your box. Nearly everything I have is in it, and it is not full. Pain and excitement are in it, and feeling good or bad and evil thoughts and good thoughts- the pleasure of design and some despair and the indescribable joy of creation.
And on top of these are all the gratitude and love I have for you.
And still the box is not full.
JOHN

Steinbeck typed up East of Eden, literally carved a beautiful box for it, and delivered the box and manuscript along with this letter to his friend Pat.  I instantly feel like I need to do more beautiful ad poetic things with my life.  More sunset appreciation, restful pondering, and maybe more poetic musings with a pen and bar napkin.  Something, right?

Here’s to our Spring and our Steinbeck.

Ps.  The dork in me in now reading Steinbeck and Covici: The Story of a Friendship.  Just let it happen.