If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a noise?
If I eat my lunch alone and no one else sees it, does it truly nourish me?
Aren’t those variations of the same question: “Must a human being be present for something to matter?” Or in the case of the second question: “Must a second human being be present for me to feel significant?”
Everybody is posting food photos… Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, billboards on the highway (probably soon!). And at first I wondered why. I thought they fell in the “TMI” (too much information) category.
Then I found myself wanting to take a photo myself. The food wasn’t all that beautiful. It was just good, solid nutrition on a generic white plate.
I love being alone. And I think it’s good for the soul. But what I wanted in the moment when I wanted to share my food photos, I realized, was a witness to my life, to my day, to the moment.
What I wanted was someone at the table with me.
Someone with whom I could make lip-smacking noises of appreciation over having the gift of a meal when I was hungry.
Someone with whom I could share bites.
Someone with whom I could share conversation.
Someone with whom I could share — especially — me.
Someone who would say, “I see you. And your lunch. And your life.”
“And you matter.”
My new policy: When a friend shares a food photo. I say a prayer for that friend to find much companionship and joy. If they already have enough of each, fine… it can’t hurt to ask for more. And then I “like” their photo… so they know someone wishes they were eating with them.
That would be me.