For those of you who know me, or have been reading my writing for a while, it is no secret that I admire the cooking and wisdom of Alex Guarnaschelli. In an interview, with Robert Stolank of the New York Times, she discussed her relationship with her husband Brandon Clark and told a story in only a way Alex could tell it. Stolank reported,
As they were closing up one evening he confided in her about a problem he had with a school assignment on potato-crusted black sea bass. He was galvanized by the private tutorial she gave him.
“I loved that he was thrilled by something that always thrilled me,” she said. Then he disappeared. No contact. No explanation.
A few weeks later she received an e-mail message saying he had decided against a cooking career. She felt personally rejected.
“Who do you think you are?” she demanded in her response. “I don’t show just anyone how to crust a sea bass. That’s sacred information.”
There are some things in our lives, which are sacred. For some it is techniques we have mastered, for others it is pieces of wisdom acquired in our craft, for Alex it was how to potato crust a black sea bass.
As I read the story, I could appreciate how she was feeling. It reminded me of the first time I had shared myself with someone I thought was special, only to find out to them I was a one-night stand. Or the time I shared a recipe of my mother’s that had been passed down to me with someone I thought would understand how sacred the act of sharing this was and didn’t.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a place where we have the opportunity to share something, which is sacred to us. It is at this time that we have to take a moment to reflect on our honest willingness to share without expectations, so that regardless of what happens afterwards we are not left feeling rejected or abused. Learning to live without expectations in my life or at least to be clear about what those expectations are has helped to eliminate a lot of suffering in my life. When we find ourselves in a space where we have the opportunity to share something sacred, sometimes we may do so and sometimes we may not. Some things are too sacred to share with just anyone. For Alex teaching Brandon to crust a black sea bass opened the door to previously unanswered dreams. There have been times I have shared something sacred and gotten hurt and other times I have shared and been blessed. Now when it comes to things, which are sacred, like how my grandmother taught me to make a super moist turkey, or personal experiences with the Infinite, sometimes I share and sometimes I do not. Something’s are sacred, you know.