Like most mornings, I give myself a few minutes after waking up to collect my thoughts, send out some well wishes and intentions and then, hit the bath. It's there, in my little sanctuary of quiet and warmth and comfort that I often read the news on my phone. As a journalist, I cannot let go of checking in with what's going on in the world.
I read the news and it hit me almost immediately, right in the heart. Anthony Bourdain was gone. I don't know if my jaw dropped but it felt like it. My eyes welled up. No, I've never met the man. It doesn't matter. I feel like I knew him. I watched Parts Unknown with absolute joy and wonder. I loved being taken to far away places to meet people I didn't know and share in the beauty of their land, of the food and of their culture. I loved how raw some of his work was. It was honest and real and totally intoxicating. I loved it so much, I once requested to hang out at an acquaintance's house simply because he was planning on watching the Vietnam Parts Unknown episode and I had yet to see it. Yes, it was kinda awkward. I just didn't care. I had to see that episode.
All day, I've been checking in and out of news and Twitter feeds, reading heartfelt tributes from fans and friends. I even ate my dinner in front of the television (a no no in my book) so I could watch the CNN special on him. It wasn't enough. And then, it was too much.
Beyond how sad I am for his loved ones, beyond how sad I am that his darkness finally won, I've been struggling with a sense of something else all day and it has taken me up until now to put a name to it. I'm afraid. I'm afraid for this world because Anthony Bourdain died. I'm afraid because an unabashedly vocal advocate for decency, for humanity, for equality and for justice has been silenced.
It seems that the world we live in today is more cruel, unkind, unfair, unjust, and downright mf mean. So many people suck and too many of those sucky ones are shouting their hatred and ignorance for all to hear. They're running for freaking office and winning!!!! Hello, Ontario. WTF???
So, I want something different. I want there to be more kindness, more justice and more equality. I don't want children taken from their families and left alone to be shipped by rail to "holding centers." I don't want assholes to post signs stating gays aren't welcome in their stores or businesses. I don't want any of that. I want more love. I want news outlets to post more stories of kindness and justice. I want bills to pass that offer more choices and more freedom. I want equality for women, god damn it!
I want more Anthony Bourdains.
We simply must be better, do better. We must learn not to judge and to not hate. We must share food, share stories and adventures with one another. We must listen. We must make breakfast for somebody. We must try to embody the spirit of Parts Unknown and its storyteller.