Thursday, November 3, 2011

L'Ultima Cena

L'ultima Cena is the name of the painting you may know as "The Last Supper". The Italian uses the phrase "ultimate" as in final, not as in awesome (though I enjoy a parsley salad and some lamb, so it may well have been awesome).

It never fails to move me to think about Jesus, gathered with those he loved, in that upper room- smoky and close- consuming their history and sanctifying their future. Powerful stuff.

On a more mundane thought, the NaBloPoMo prompt for the day is: "What would you want for your last meal?"

What would my ultimate, ultimate last meal be?

In truth, I'd prefer not to know it was my last. That would the best seasoning of all. I love food in general, so it's hard to narrow it down to one meal. Several courses?

I'd like Greek salad with lemon and oil dressing, heavy on the lemon. Then a open-faced, hot turkey sandwich, with gravy. Mashed potatoes. Cranberry sauce. Steamed broccoli. And chocolate cream pie.

Comfort food, I guess. As I am writing this, it occurs to me that I haven't eaten that meal in any form in recent memory. Maybe it's just a craving.

It's been a long time since I went more than a week without communion, but I can remember distinctly the last time I did. When I was on maternity leave, I didn't go to church. While pastors came to visit, no one brought communion and I didn't think to ask. I did start to crave it after a while. It wasn't just the bread and wine, though, it was the experience of being at the table, of hearing the words, of sharing with another or others in something basic and mysterious.

In early Christianity (and still in some places), one strove to die with the elements in one's mouth or only just there. Could there be a better last meal, a more ultimate meal? Comfort food and great company. L'ultima cena, indeed.

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