Linda Urban's in town, and she and I talked cheese at Jaleo's last night.
Okay, we talked about more than cheese. We talked craft, and art, and fears and dreams in our current writing projects. But cheese did get me riled up. We ordered the six cheese sampler, and it was fantastic, a delectable collage of varied pungencies and textures, served with honeyed apricots, each triangle or round of cheese hand-crafted to perfection. And I ranted about the newest campaign against cheese (spokes-demon: The Grim Reaper) pushed by some doctors who feel it's the main source of fat in American diets. That may be. But it's also sublime. It's an rustic art form, for pete's sake! I'm offended it's under attack.
I guess it was also because we'd just visited the National Gallery, and seen their exhibit of artist's books, called Text as Inspiration: Artists' Books and Literature. And let me tell you, it was tiny---one petite gallery with four glassed cases. And some of those books were as quirky as artisanal cheese. I loved the book that featured a poem called EVE, which unfolded out of a cover made to be Adam's intricately designed, highly realistic paper rib. And the one with the slightly off-color poem that could be read two ways with the bold wire design of a cat proudly sitting in front of it.
Worth savoring, it was.
I guess what I'm saying is that campaigning against cheese is like saying life is a dry sandwich. And everything I saw at the National Gallery---from that tiny exhibit to the arresting and often highly individualistic portraits in the Chester Dale collection---says that ain't so.
Give me some cheese. And some great art. And a friend to share both.