The kitchen table has always been a significant part of my life. It was at the white table in my childhood home that I would gather with my family after a long day of school and eat food deep-fried along side a glass of sweet tea. It was at that table I would have some of the last deep conversations with my papa and hear him laugh and see him smile. At that table, I learned to write and fell in love with the stories that came to mind while watching my mom clean. That table always finds a way to bring us together, wherever we may travel in this life. The kitchen table roots me to home.
Leap of Faith by Julie Orr Franklin illustrates the power of the kitchen table to unite people from all over the world. After quitting her job in order to experience the world outside her hometown, she ends up in Botswana at the table of a woman named Banaki. Franklin writes, “Sharing a meal with Banaki, her colleagues, and her guests that evening from four different continents, I realize that although she has never traveled outside of her home country, Banaki truly is a citizen of the world.”
To be a citizen of the world does not necessarily go hand in hand with world travel and exploration. Being a citizen of the world can simply be sitting at the table with people from various places and background while sharing a meal. The table is like the world—the table itself being the space between us. We can each pull up a chair and join in on the conversations. Franklin reminds us that the simplest things, like a kitchen table, have the power to teach us about the world around us. To be a citizen of the world means to listen to the diversity in our daily lives.
Mandala Jounral is the conversation of artists and writers from all over the world. Please, take a seat.