A breakfast of luxury: Overnight oats with Walnuts, Dragonfruit, Apples, Kiwi and Thai Bananas (กล้วยน้ำว้า)
Annenberg, Harvard’s freshman dining hall, is a grand affair of red wood panelled walls and chandeliers dripping from vaulted ceilings. Yet despite the architecture that prides itself in providing a fairytale-like setting to every meal, the beauty of Annenberg is dampened by the undeniable dining hall atmosphere that pervades the space, most notably the enforced social interactions every meal that have become a neccessary part of the life of a Harvard freshman.
It makes me miss the moments of white tablecloths and quiet breakfasts where food was the medium by which I communicated with myself, the way in which I meditated about the world and how I took a step back from what I was doing to enjoy participating in perhaps the most basic requirement of living. There is a sense of sanctity in performing the ritual of eating breakfast by yourself, as if in some way you’re making time to make an appointment with yourself and to celebrate yourself by eating food that makes your body happy.
My mother sends me pictures of her food now (this is one of her beautiful breakfasts - I get my fair share of fruit and oatmeal here, but not the tranquility nor the presentation that I so value and ritualized throughout my summer) and amidst the hectic nature of life at Harvard, these pictures are an island of peace to which I can imagine myself retreating. Reading Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity last night, I feel now more than ever that time is indeed relative, and distortions in the fourth dimension due to motion can create the illusion of an accelerating person’s life in slow motion from the perspective of one who is relatively stationary. Paths diverge and I find myself forced forward at 99.5% of the speed of light, caught in the paradox of moving in slow motion as I accelerate away from my stationary position. Perhaps movement is not always the way forward - we need still moments to bring our relative time back to a sense of normalcy, and despite my love for Annenberg, I long for white tablecloths of quiet breakfasts to bring me back to myself.