April 1, 2020

“All great spirituality is about what we do with our pain. Creation has a pattern of wisdom; and we dare not shield ourselves from it, or we literally will lose our soul… Death and resurrection are lived out at every level of the cosmos, but only one species thinks it can avoid it—the human species.

I am afraid many of us with privilege have been able to become very naïve about pain and suffering in the United States and the Western world. We simply don’t have time for it. However, by trying to handle all suffering through willpower, denial, medication, or even therapy, we have forgotten something that should be obvious: we do not handle suffering; suffering handles us— in deep and mysterious ways that become the very matrix of life and especially new life. Only suffering and certain kinds of awe lead us into genuinely new experiences. All the rest is merely the confirmation of old experience.

It seems that nothing less than some kind of pain will force us to release our grip on our small explanations and our self-serving illusions. Resurrection will always take care of itself, whenever death is trusted… In this time of suffering we have to ask ourselves, what are we going to do with our pain? Are we going to blame others for it? Are we going to try to fix it? No one lives on this earth without it. It is the great teacher, although none of us want to admit it. If we do not transform our pain, we will transmit it in some form. How can we be sure not to transmit our pain onto others?” — Richard Rohr, Daily Meditations: Life is Hard

Stay in, stay well & keep each other well, my friends ~

Abu’s peanut butter stew at Old Skool Cafe, Hunter’s Point

In that already seemingly long-ago world where my daily life was traveling half of every month, digging deep in food and drink in my treasure of a city and globally, I was interviewed by Eric Kozlik, who has a wonderful drink podcast, Modern Bar Cart. It was a rousing discussion on food, drink, travel and “How Virginia leveraged her innate curiosity to transition from a home schooled education to a career and food and drink writing” — you can listen here.

Remember to keep supporting our local treasures—many won’t survive this shutdown—with delivery and takeout. A few of my recommends at The Bold Italic (with multiple sources on the safety of it), plus more coming soon in my Bob Cut column (check your favorites’ websites and social media for options). Here’s a helpful food safety one-page sheet.

Restaurant and bar industry, just a few key resources (I’m posting more on social media and in private industry groups you can message me about if you aren’t signed up already) for aid in a time of unprecedented, widespread need: the new Bay Area Hospitality Coalition (local), James Beard Foundation, Save Restaurants, Restaurant Workers Resources (all national) — we have more coming soon globally from The World’s 50 Best.

Sorrel’s sunchokes kombu custard under a kombu pink peppercorn chip with cream and sturgeon caviar

Around the BayA Guide to the Bay Area’s Local Grocers: International markets, CSAs, CFAs, farmers markets and 10 of our best independent, local grocers from SF to the East Bay and Peninsula.
Wandering TravelerNYC’s Top 10 Bars
ImbiberDistiller Bottle Column: Stay-home sips ranging from a San Jose peated single malt you’d think is Scotch to the best maraschino liqueur I’ve ever tasted.
On the Town The Hunters Point Supper Club That Helped Transform a Community Needs Your Support

As your personal concierge who tells it like a good friend would, I create personalized itineraries; provide food and drink consulting for restaurants and bars; and classes at companies for the layperson wanting to dig deeper in food and drink (more info at virginia-miller.com).