Category Archives: 2019-20 Season

Message from the Center: Samin Nosrat In Conversation with Lindy West

A few years ago I was wandering around at a farmers market and came across a table of cookbooks. The one that immediately caught my eye (and which I had to have) had a title that made me laugh out loud: I Am Almost Always Hungry.

Who isn’t?

And not just in the stomach-growling, feed-me-now kind of way, but in the larger, hungry-for-everything kind of way. We are always hungry — for a piece of the pie, for a seat at the table, for a change of scenery, for more, for better, for different. In our abundant, overflowing culture we are all almost always hungry.

The two writers on stage tonight, Lindy West and Samin Nosrat, both address this notion of hunger; for equity and acceptance, for humor, for access, for difference, for joy and comfort, for the right to just let your freak flag fly. One of the things I love so much about both of them, is that they refuse to ignore this hunger, they refuse to apologize, to fit in, to lower their voice. Instead, they are delightfully ravenous, they ask questions, and they demand that we too, ask questions, that we not dismiss our own hunger, that we take notice. There is a reason we are all, almost always hungry. It forces us to pay attention, to not ignore or deny the gnawing little voice deep inside that demands we feed ourselves and others.

The late, great M.F.K Fisher, in her introduction to The Gastronomical Me, writes this about hunger:

“Like most humans, I am hungry…our three basic needs, for food and
security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it…and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied…and it is all one. We must eat. If in the face of that…we can find other nourishment and tolerance and compassion, we’ll be no less full of human dignity.”

Thanks for joining us for our first Words & Ideas program of the new
season, it’s an honor to share this glorious hall with Samin and Lindy, and as always, with you.

Meryl Friedman
Director of Education & Special Initiatives

A Note from Damon Lindelof, Co-creator of The Leftovers

Fellow Members of The Guilty Remnant,

The following is an excerpt from the actual script of the Leftovers finale.  Matt Jamison sits with his sister, Nora Durst as she prepares to get zapped into an alternate dimension while he prepares to return to his wife and son… and die.  Here’s what we wrote:

Matt and Nora trade ONE FINAL LOOK.  This is it.  He SMILES —

She’s the Bravest Girl on Earth.

And she SMILES back.  The Richter starts to play.  Something quiet and beautiful and pulling us towards the inevitable…

A big part of screenwriting is trying to convey how a particular moment feels using only words.  We, however, had a secret weapon.  Why even bother wasting the keystrokes on “happy” or “sad” or “painful” or “joyous” or “scared” when we could simply write…

“The Richter starts to play.”

And so it did.  It played over a mother’s realization that her baby was missing from his car seat and it played over another mother picking up another baby on a doorstep.  It played over a cavewoman dying in a stream.  Over a woman running across a bridge to embrace the daughter who abandoned her.  It played over an assassin dying in the arms of a president.  And finally, one last time, it played over two people sitting at a kitchen table… one telling a story almost impossible to believe… and the other believing it.

And here’s what I believe.  There would be no Leftovers without Max Richter and his incredible music.  His brilliance occupies the space between extreme faith and the terror of nothingness… the unexplored region that lies between hope and despair.  But most of all…

Max reminds us that we’re human.   And as painful as life can be, it’s also beautiful.   So sit back, close your eyes, and let it all wash over you as…

The Richter starts to play.

We’re Still Here,

Damon Lindelof