*Apologies to Off-Menu and readers who are curious about this past weekends Off-Premise Dinner, that write-up is forthcoming, but certain events have happened that will be made clear in this post, that I would like to do a write-up later.
Sharing a Plate, Sharing Memories and Experiences
I didn’t really know if I should post these thoughts. However, after debating about it I felt that sharing is one of the major themes of this blog and my life in general. As many of you know I run the Honolulu Grub Club blog, as well as One More Plate here and there goal is to share food information and ideas with others, with an emphasis in Hawaii. A large part of my personal life, when it isn’t involved with the law, video games, reading, writing, or whatever, is dominated by dining out with friends. Indeed, the HGC words are “food, friends, and fun!”
So where is this going? Well, in my adventures with the Grub Club and in particular Off-Premise, I have had the wonderful opportunity to become more social, especially during a time when my life is more stressful than it looks. I have met a wonderful array of new friends, and through them acquaintances that I hope will become friends. I am not naïve and think that friends of friends will always get along, but that was not the case with Ryan Suenaga. In fact, I could already tell when I met this guy, he was entertaining , self-effacing, and a very colorful person. Someone, I would enjoy getting to know.
Unfortunately, this past Sunday, Ryan’s life was cut short in a hiking accident at Olomana trail. I would rather not dwell on the details, but if you would like to know more, you can read about the story here. For my own part, my heart and care goes out to my mutual friends with Ryan who are bereaved by this tragedy. I will be honest I only shared a couple meals with him and was only beginning to get to know him. However, in the face of this tragedy and remembering my own mortality and my sense of purpose I’d like to share some feelings and thoughts.
Share a plate with someone. Specifically, a meal or two, as I consider it sharing a new experience with someone. Last year, was a hard year for me, but I started the Grub Club with the distinct notion that I wanted to have fun with my current friends, but I also wanted to meet new ones. One of the ways I know best, and I think humanity and its various cultures has it right too, is to “break bread” with each other. I think one of the best ways to meet people and know their qualities is can you sit down and share a meal with them. Recently, I had the fortunate of sitting down with some of my more longtime friends and reminisce and share new foods and thoughts with them. Honestly, it was one of the best nights I have had this year.
I am moved at the outpouring of love and affection shown to Ryan Suenaga (aka @rsuenaga of the Twitterverse). I am saddened that I will not get to him as some of my other friends have, as the times we shared a meal were all positive. However, this tragedy has given me pause. In this time of reflection, I know now that I do want to go out and share more food adventures with others. I do not think that I will like them all, but I think that sharing meal experiences with others has helped shape and define my character and I would want they way others view me to be at the very least half as positive as those invaluable traits that made Ryan a wonderful person.
My last thoughts on this are you don’t have to like food as I do, but you just need to pick something to be passionate about and share it with others. For myself, I choose to add another plate on top the load I carry because it is just that one extra experience that adds to my life. In law we talk about wearing hats, on stage it is wearing masks, but the reality is whatever you are doing are the activities you truly treasure all solitary? Are not some of your best moments in life when you are surrounded by friends or even strangers? This is not a clarion call to go out and love all your neighbors, but this is just asking you would it just hurt to say, yes to someone for lunch, coffee, tea, or whatever it may be and spend an hour getting to know that person?
Final Words to Readers, Friends, and Ryan
To my readers all I say is this go out and meet people, you never know who you will be lucky to find. Whether they are a fellow dork, musician, eater, or writer, they do add something to your life, even if it is temporary.
To my friends who have lost someone dear, just remember that while he cannot be replaced neither can your memories of him. Remember those times you ate out, had fun, and the friendship you forged. Also remember that you, yourselves have other friends that care about you.
To Ryan, wherever you may be, in response to what you posted on my Facebook, I too hope to hang out with you again. Keep a plate warm for me because I will probably be hungry.
Finally, if you would like to find out more about Ryan Suenaga please follow on these links, as I think our mutual friends have said it the best and do his memory honor: