I like to write about amazing things, wondrous things, like the transformative powers of the god Dionysos and those found in Champagne’s “gas of life”, especially at this time of bounty and thanksgiving, the season of harvest and good cheer.
But also at this season it is perhaps the time to write about amazing things that are not so wondrous, things about which it is hard to write because they are so sad. Like children who live not far from any of us who do not have enough to eat everyday. Like “Rosie”.
I have been looking for Rosie since I saw her, last Spring, on a Bill Moyers-Chef Tom Colicchio-Laura Silverbush program about the Colicchio film “A Place At the Table.” In that film twelve-year old Rosie shines with intelligence and the promise within herself. But she goes to school so hungry every day that she says she cannot concentrate; that instead of seeing her teacher she sees a “banana”; and, instead of seeing classmates, to console her hungry-self she pictures “apples and oranges.” Rosie is not looking for cakes and junk food. She is craving a banana.
I emailed Bill Moyers to see what I could possibly do to help Rosie. I have had no reply.
This morning I was planning to write more about Champagne; “Champagne Toujours” after all is what this blog is called. But, hello, I turned on the CBS news and there was Rosie talking about her banana teacher. The Colicchios were on with Charlie Rose and Norah and Gail. Dionysos is sending this sign so I write about Rosie instead of him today.
How can I find Rosie; how can I do something so that the next time Rosie is on television perhaps she will be acting in a drama she wrote and directed, instead of wishing for a banana? There should be bananas in every child’s home; and apples and oranges too. Who can help me to do something?
This is a time of harvests and of plenty; a time of remembering our country’s heritage of giving Thanks; of giving thanks while learning and celebrating the differences of those with whom we share. I can write about Champagne and fois gras tomorrow. But today I want to do more than know that many children, right here in America, are wishing and dreaming of dinners they will not have. How can I make a difference? While there is harvest and bounty all around us, while twenty-four hours a day The Food Channel has programs showing gargantuan meals being prepared, there is want and need in children around all of us. How can I make any difference?
If you have suggestions please send them.
That includes you too, Caesar. If you have suggestions, you pass them right along.
Madeleine de Jean
The Night Julius Caesar Invented Champagne.