When I was a waitress, I used to have a habit of shoving everything in my apron pocket and then coming home. It’s a more personal, intimate form of hoarding, or chipmunk-ism. This has attributed to a fairly eclectic collection of cutlery, especially forks and knives. I finally got rid of the drawer of knives last spring in my year of purging the old and walking away. The knife bundle was about 8 inches in diameter (you’re welcome Good Will).
I’ve worked in many restaurants through the years resulting in such a kitchen drawer, diversity.
Why this is even on my heart now, I couldn’t tell you. I was just strongly feeling the fork question of “where has this fork been?” I just watched a documentary on Interior Design and how it and all design is so intentional, purposeful and thoughtful. How we attach ourselves to household items and things, functional and purely aesthetic. Antiques have so much history, owning a French Bureau from the 18th Century is living with a piece of the past. There is a feeling that the energy of where it’s been and who have stored their clothes is brought to a contemporary place; the now.
I know of families that pass down their cutlery and silver through generations. Silver, a valuable commodity, was used for payment and trading and dowry in many cultures. My mom’s forks have a specific design that gives me comfort and a sense of nostalgia.
What about the fork you don’t own, or that wasn’t in your family? When we go out to eat and are using other people’s utensils, besides Jeff Goldblume type germ-a-phobes that carry their own fork in their pants, do you ever think about what was before you?
As a server in a restaurant full-time, I would come across and wait on 100’s of people daily. On a busy night we would run out of silverware about 3 times, needing to rush to the back to help the dishwasher scrub and scour, then feverishly dry and polish each piece with my hands and a cloth. We would pair them up, perfectly place on a clean and folded napkin and roll them into tight burritos, waiting to be uncovered and facilitate food, shoved into the next serendipitous mouth.
This is not supposed to rumble up a feeling of “that’s disgusting”, I apologize if that is where this is going. But please shift your mindset if you can. Actually, this ritual is so beautiful.
Eating is the most personal and individualized of our human habits. We all have to eat food. (I understand we don’t all use forks in the world but for this story we’re going where I’m familiar.)
A facilitator. A tool signifying a deeper intelligence and segregating us from the wild kingdom. Bet you never had that thought while eating your mixed field greens salad with lemon, herb vinaigrette.
Your fork has been in the hands and mouths of thousands of other people during their most precious times on Earth. Most fork scenarios will likely be in a restaurant or gathering that is a type of celebratory or mourning event.
We gather when we’re feeling happy and sad. We eat at restaurants together as a family or to meet a long-lost friend. We shove forks into giant slices of chocolate cake when we break up. Moms ask for the smaller fork to feed their children who are just learning what a fork is. I would say with observational certainty, that a fork signifies a smile in most instances.
I have personally handled all the silverware at a restaurant I was working, 100’s of times. I’m an incredibly insightful, genuine and kind person. I like to think that as I pass the sparkly silver utensil your way, that energy is somehow exchanged.
We are all in facilitation with each other, whether we agree or not. It’s happening every moment we engage in life. We are sharing the same air, soil and Universe people; we all touch each other in some way.
I remember this story told by my step sister Jacquie: As teenagers, her and her girlfriend were at a McDonalds very late night, walking back to their car in the parking lot. A homeless man comes out from the dumpster waving a broken, plastic fork, looks up at them and yells “Fork you, man, Fork you!”