I, as a cancer survivor, have a story to tell regarding the experience surrounding a simple meal afforded by the kindness of the Space Needle Staff and the Sky City Executive Chef.
According to my doctors, my multiple myeloma and the tumors that surround my brainstem have left me with a short time to be on this earth. As part of a bucket list, it was arranged that I would eat at the Sky City Restaurant. As a poor humble soul with little resources to pay for such a grand experience, the Sky City Staff and executive chef worked it out with my doctors and nurses to open the restaurant hours before anyone arrived and enjoy a meal while taking in priceless panoramas of the Seattle Cityscape. The chef and restaurant manager provided everything my nurse and I asked for and more. I, after radiation, could only eat a taste of bread and water with lemon; yet I was still able to thoroughly enjoy the views and experience with my wonderful caregiver. The amazing Guest Services Manager, Fanna Kebede, recognized the familiar grimace of both nausea and unsure footing, and made every accommodation to aid my comfort that was humanly possible. After our glorious meal, the restaurant staff led us to the viewing deck where my caregiver (my plus one) and I enjoyed breathtaking views of all that makes the wonderful city of Seattle so dynamic and engaging.
I chose to share this personal story with you on a blog post because all those I prepare food for fully understand the intricacies of holistic healing and holistic experiences. Beyond recipes and ingredients, beyond taste and presentation, the act of sharing a meal in a specific environment with welcomed company all play a delicate role in the sacred exchange of elevation and healing. The kind gestures of the Sky City Staff were truly medicinal. It meant so much to me because those of us that have known true hunger and want…love food differently. We take in its colors and aromas and experience its intricacies far beyond the common measure of taste and texture—and we find value and remedy in the polite dance of space where feasting tangles with conversation.
Beyond recipes and ingredients, beyond taste and presentation, the act of sharing a meal in a specific environment with welcomed company all play a delicate role in the sacred exchange of elevation and healing.
The Sky City Restaurant experience was the catalyst that propelled me to design and construct the High Hopes Savory and Relief Room. The Savory and Relief Room is both a kitchen and a healing place that provides the Impossible Road’s staff and volunteers a way to serve the Whatcom County community (and beyond) by feeding the homeless every Thursday and Saturday. In exchange for a gourmet meal, we start a dialogue with those displaced about how to best serve them and they things they need to move forward and live healthy and productive lives. The dialogue that we begin with those that are in need then gets put into our dynamic NASA database so that we may be ready to serve and apply our resources and insights in the event of any disaster worldwide. Every week, many volunteers and donors prepare amazing gourmet meals to serve and engage those who may be lost, displaced, hungry…or just road weary. In preparing these meals I have the sacred opportunity to engage so many amazing individuals. And every week, just like the Sky City Restaurant, I leave a space for one that I may not expect…a space for one that may not be welcome in any other place but in our Savory & Relief Room. I will always leave a space for one…in every meal that I prepare…it is one of my greatest joys.