19 March 2015
Dedicated to: Josée Kubiak, Arthur Brocato, Sandra Scalise Juneau, and Sal LoGuidice.
By Graison S. Gill and Bellegarde Bakery.
Our labor is our prayer. The sanctity of life’s truth begins at our wrists and ends at our fingertips; St. Joseph, patron saint of Workers, understand us through our labor. We devote our lives to love’s toil: we bake bread in the image of our God so that others may eat, grow, and live. We slink through the improper hours, into improbable places, to make this day, your daily bread. We lose sleep, money, and relationships because we work too long, and too hard. Please understand us, because others do not.
Understand that food is the language universal and bread its altar. We shape bread in the image of our love; our passion to share is the gluten which retains the community within its delicate web. Food is sharing and life is bread: as the dough is born, sweating and wet, midwifed by the baker, like a man does it ferment with ideas and time; ballooned by hot air it rises while breathing, nervous under the attendance of the baker. Born alone, the dough is sent to die alone. From this dough, our bread is created. The violent cycle of life and birth, complete, we retain a fist of dough to gestate tomorrow’s loaves: a clutch of the past will always fertilize the future. Broadcast into this city of Diaspora, our bread pollinates all tables.
But bread is our hubris. What we can’t share with our flesh, with our words, we say with bread. Our power is isolating. Exiled by the very community we sustain. Let this altar be an attempt at communication: let it be language without tongues. Accept it as pure intention, St. Joseph. We realize that in life it takes more courage and more faith to build, than it does to take apart. Let us make the effort, for once this time, to accept each other as brothers and sisters in Life; prove our strength to hold this understanding. Do not ever let our selves get in the way of our love. Do not let our tongues get in the way of our language.
Tonight too, we suture the wounds of the past by celebrating the presence of these extraordinary people: Sandra, Sal, and Arthur. We salute their prowess, their craftsmanship, and their unflinching commitment to others before themselves. They come from a time when the patience of integrity was king. Life, as only good people know, is curated by the limits of one’s hands. It was a healthy, organic sensation—strength derived from within, never of the schemes from without.
With true humility we sit here tonight, within your presence, to learn and to listen. We hope that you accept our baptism in the craft, and that you enjoy our work which we dedicate to you. As Prometheus passed fire, we too accept the gift of light from your hearts and we promise, from the marrow of our bones, to keep the flame bright and the oven hot. God bless you, and our altar. In the prayer of St. Francis we ask for the Lord to make us an instrument of His peace. Reminded, with visceral truth, it is in giving that we truly receive.