Roma # 1
Last night was my first night in Roma and I was taken out by an American chef friend of mine Zach, chef and owner of the delicious LA restaurant Sotto. He has been traveling and training throughout Italy for a few years and, thankfully for me, he spoke Italian! Not sure if I have expressed this or not, but I speak none. Nada.
We started off the evening at a wonderful little bar overlooking the city, sipping a classic Italian aperitivo called a Spritz - a mix of Campari, sweet vermouth and sparkling white wine. Bitter and very very strong. Definitely woke my jet-lagged ass right up!
It was late by the time we walked over to have dinner. Well, late for me anyway. 9pm. Much much later than I normally eat. But when in Rome… We went to this hidden Italian slow food restaurant that you needed to be in the know to know how to find. I don’t even think it had a name or if it did it was in Italian and I don’t remember it.
At any rate, we sat down at the table and the waiter immediately brought over a carafe of their lovely crisp house white wine. The carafe never seemed to end either, as he was always refilling it throughout our dinner, so you really had no idea how much wine you had actually consumed.
As for the food, we began with a salted cod capriccio with black truffles and red onion dressed with lemon and an amazing olive oil. Fresh, clean and palate enticing. We went onto a simple (not so exciting) fried zucchini flowers with green olives then an unexpectedly incredibly delicious homemade tagliatelle pasta with anchovy, raisin and pine nuts. Was my favorite dish by far. Then some sort of savory creamy onion flan along side a perfectly roasted rabbit. The entire meal was rustic, simple and tasty. Unfortunately, the restaurant was so dark that all the pictures I took didn't come out well at all. Could of also been influenced by the amount of wine I drank too. Again, not my norm.
Anyway we ate and drank and dinner was lovely but very salty. A bit too salty for my taste and I fell into my bed with a full belly, a warm fuzzy wine haze and a parched mouth. All of which influenced my not so sound sleep and I arose the next morning feeling foggy and puffy.
I stumbled out of bed and immediately drank some water, then came the green tea, green powder, vitamins, anything and everything to change the way I felt in that moment.
Now, I am not saying that’s bad, to try and balance yourself with things that can potentionally make you feel better, I’m just saying I suddenly became very aware of my behavior of wanting to control my present situation and try to feel better immediately. This awareness allowed me to take pause and observe my engrained pattern. And then it hit me. What if everything was perfect just the way it was. I mean everything. Not just a few things, I mean the way I felt, look, smell, taste, success, no success, love, no love, good health… yes, I am talking about EVERYTHING.
It’s a simple yet extremely challenging concept to fully be in all the time. Maybe that’s not what it is about anyway. The goal is to be yes. But the searching and the struggles along the way to being in the present, I am now understanding that THAT might just be it. The journeys we go through and then experience these beautiful bursts of being fully present, is what it’s all about. That’s the lesson. The teaching. The learning. Observing yourself within the moments you’re struggling with.
Now I have heard and read this concept for years but for some reason this morning, I got it. Deeply. Felt it penetrating, emanating throughout my entire body. What if I was perfect just the way I am - right now. Because this really is my only reality. The present is truly all I have. Right now. Are you with me? Profound. It was to me anyway…