Anthony Bourdain's Death: what it meant to me

Anthony Bourdain’s Death: How It Motivated Me

I am waking up this morning and hearing of Anthony Bourdain’s death. I am not bothered often by celebrity deaths and the mourning that accompanies them on social media. To me, this feels different. This one is important enough, striking a chord that remained hidden in the depths. I’m not too fond of this feeling. I am saddened; also, I am a bit angry.

I’m not sure when I first saw or heard one of his shows. He was pretty straightforward and almost presented himself in a black or white sense. You either loved and appreciated Tony or hated him right away. I got his way of communicating and enjoyed it; Instantly, I became hooked. I was a fan.

“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom…is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.” ― Anthony Bourdain

His Shows Were Visionary

Bourdain uncovered the layers, scraping away at what you would typically see, and dug into the filth. It didn’t matter if the story was about people, food, a city, or culture. It was raw, and It was real; that was Tony. The result would be a new way of telling a story and seeing the framed normality with a different skew. I loved his interpretations and clarity, his view, his style.

“If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.” ― Anthony Bourdain

What’s Left After Anthony Bourdain’s Death?

Anthony Bourdain melded two of my favorite things, food & travel, and then shared them with us over the years. As a result, we now have books, T.V. shows, and series, interviews, The Roadrunner movie, and tweets to look back on to delve into our fountain of knowledge. A voice that was taken away and is now silent, and these pieces are what remain.

I remember a year ago waking up and seeing a simple short tweet from him. “It’s Batali, and it’s bad.” I was to the point and concise. He knew that this issue (me too/abuse) would be more significant than it seemed at the time. Now, this morning, I wake to see some tweets, and I am thinking at first, “It’s Bourdain, and it’s bad.” Sadly my thoughts were confirmed. Anthony Bourdain’s death burns like a fresh scar. With time that scar will heal and fade but will still be visible on the surface.

“Eat at a local restaurant tonight. Get the cream sauce. Have a cold pint at 4 o’clock in a mostly empty bar. Go somewhere you’ve never been. Listen to someone you think may have nothing in common with you. Order the steak rare. Eat an oyster. Have a negroni. Have two. Be open to a world where you may not understand or agree with the person next to you, but have a drink with them anyways. Eat slowly. Tip your server. Check in on your friends. Check in on yourself. Enjoy the ride.” – Anthony Bourdain

I felt inspired to travel and see things how he did. That is how I can pay my respects. Bourdain helped me craft a version of myself that will eat, drink, interact, and look at life and people worldwide through a different lens.

He stirred something inside of me, a connection, almost a bond. Motivated to do something, I will work more on this blog. One day I can try to be a better writer, a better storyteller. I can learn to communicate better with others even though I’d prefer to be in my quiet, comfortable, and intimate space. He was able to, so I know that I can as well. R.I.P. Chef

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you… You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” ― Anthony Bourdain

Photo Credit: Stuck in Customs Flickr via Compfight cc

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