Michael Cade with abscessed tooth. Zanmi Lasante, Cagne, Haiti.

Michael Cade with abscessed tooth. Zanmi Lasante, Cagne, Haiti. May, 2009

I was part of a conversation about food today, and as often happens, one fraction of me went wandering off in a number of directions, like a whole rambling club drunk on scrumpy.

I began to recall the moment I took this photograph, of young Michael, as he waited for over two days at Zanmi Lasante’s outpatient clinic. His face was distorted from the swelling around an abscessed tooth. He was having a hard time eating, of course. We’d chat each time I passed by. He liked my camera.

ricocheting off the ongoing talk around kitchens and culture, in my mental ramble, to M F K Fisher’s fantastic writing, such as this:

“It seems to me that 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.”
from M F K Fisher’s The Art of Eating

… and how it obliquely related to another ramble about power and food. Few who read these blog pages will have experienced hunger as a sensation outside of their realm of control, or as a state with no clear end point. Michael, waiting hour after hour, spinning through pain and hunger, and no clear idea of when both would be resolved, seemed to me to have every claim to sadness. But he so clearly let me have a full blast of love and warmth when I asked to take/make this photograph.

And it is no puzzle, as I reflect on Fisher’s words, that those who wish to overpower others will manifest abuse by starving their fellows.

A lot of rambles.

Canon 5D MKII, EF 35mm 1.4L USM lens, post processed in Lightroom