At night we’ll feast together.

There was a time, last summer, in which I was at my friend’s gathering in the South of France. There were many of us there, spending the days in the sea, swimming, reading, chatting, having lunch on the patio, retiring to our rooms for naps before returning to the sea. . .then, at night, dining together.
It was only a few days but they were redemptive days, days that brought back hope and pleasure and joy. The feasts (which were not so called but they take on that quality in my memory) so filled with an air of conviviality. Never has dining with a dozen strangers felt so easy or so pleasurable.
When I read my journal from those days, I was almost there again, struck by the generosity of a man I barely knew offering me his apartment in Spain or the genuine interest of human beings in other human beings, floored by the surprise of never once being asked what I did or asked to demonstrate my worth or jockey for position.
Dining together, nay, feasting together, was extraordinary in its togetherness. Together there were people adept at conversation, in two languages, creating art out of mealtime.

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