Anthony Bourdain was my hero.
Irreverent, whip smart, a rebel with a heart of gold, he inspired me to write, to love food writing culture and stay curious about the people and places that create the things we love to eat. He was authentic within himself, and carried just enough ‘tortured artist’ energy to be utterly fascinating. Today has been a sad day, one of tears and grief and exhaustion, one of empathy for his family and closest friends, one of frustration and anger that the world can become so small and dark for people that they can only see one way out. My heart feels broken and the existentialist in me wonders how, if someone as seemingly strong and resilient as he was, can give in and give up, what hope do the rest of us have? His candid writing on addiction and mental health was inspiring and real, hard to read at times because it was so raw, but he had made it through, he’d lived to tell the tale. His stories helped me, and I’m sure countless other people stay in the fight and push through to see another day. To call his suicide tragic is not enough. It is profoundly sad and numbingly surreal. I want to turn on Netflix, watch his shows, hear his voice, be a part of the wisdom and poetry that he gave us, but it’s too soon. (more…)