AntiMatter Collective presents THE TOWER--a psychedelic journey into the history and mythology of the Donner Party, a group of snowbound pioneers who notoriously resorted to cannibalism to survive the brutal winter of 1846-47. Historical narrative collides with hallucinatory imagery to create a shifting landscape filled with the whispers of the past and the roar of the future. A vision of adolescent America: frostbitten, bloodstained, ravenous.
Standard Toykraft 722 Metropolitan Ave, 3rd floor Williamsburg, Brooklyn
“All day Mrs. [Sarah] Foster held her brother's head in her lap and by every means in her power
sought to soothe his death agonies. The sunlight faded from the
surrounding summits. Darkness slowly emerged from the canyons and
enfolded forest and hill slope in her silent embrace. The glittering
stars appeared in the heavens and the bright full moon rose over the
eastern mountain crests. The silence,
the profound solitude, the ever present wastes of snow, the weird
moonlight, and above all the hollow moans of the dying boy in her lap
rendered this night the most impressive in the life of Mrs. Foster. She
says she never beholds a bright moonlight without recurring with a
shudder to this night on the Sierra. At two o clock in the morning
Lemuel Murphy ceased to breathe. The warm tears and kisses of the
afflicted sisters were showered upon lips that would never more quiver
Days and perhaps weeks of starvation were
awaiting them in the future and they dare not neglect to provide as
best they might. Each of the four bodies was divested of its flesh and
the flesh was dried. Although no person partook of kindred flesh sights
were often witnessed that were blood curdling. Mrs. Foster as we have
seen fairly worshiped her brother Lemuel. Has human pen power to express
the shock of horror this sister received when she saw her brother's
heart thrust through with a stick and broiling upon the coals? No man
can record or read such an occurrence without a cry of agony! What then
did she endure who saw this cruel sight?”
In the words of the narrator of Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, “I been away a long time.” It’s true. I’m sorry for my prolonged absence. It seems, however, that the time has arrived to rekindle this food blog.
So. LIFE UPDATE. A couple years ago I started meditating and practicing Buddhism again. In August I moved to Brooklyn, which I do believe was a very wise decision. I also got an iPhone over the summer. What? Hello, twenty-first century.
Seriously though, life has been good to me over the last year and a half of my food blogging hiatus.
I’m now four years into my doctoral program for American cultural history. After wavering in the should-I-stay-or-should-I-go dance of graduate school, I recently decided (i.e., six days ago) that perhaps I’ve been pursuing the wrong course of study. Then it clicked. It's not that academia isn’t for me. It's that I've been struggling to study topics not appropriate for me at this point in my life. A moment of clarity dawned upon me and I realized—I’m a historian of cannibalism. How could I have ever thought I was anything else? It all made sense. My dissertation? The Donner Party.
Which brings me to the next and, quite honestly, most important aspect of my life right now. THE TOWER. For just under the past year I’ve been serving as a dramaturg for an incredible play called The Tower (as in the tarot card representing chaos, collapse, sudden change, downfall, revelation…) about the Donner Party, a topic I’ve always found fascinating. For months I’ve been researching the history that surrounds these ill-fated emigrants who notoriously resorted to cannibalism to survive a brutal winter in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1846-47. Most amazingly, I’ve been able to fulfill a passion I didn’t quite know how to best manifest on my own—turning the past into art.
Now that I’ve become intimately involved with the members of the Donner Party it seems I have no option but to stay with them. I’m just riding the energy I’ve tapped into through this process, and I’m ready to see where it takes me. So, dissertating? It’s a thing, apparently. I think I’m finally ready for it.
What does this all mean for A Slice of Earthly Delight? Well, I’m about to be immersed in food history. Which means I’m going to need an outlet to write about food thingz. Which means you all get to hear my ramblings once again! Everybody wins.
It also means that I’m going to be writing a lot about cannibalism. Be prepared.