But what really stuck with me was the stories of healing. Before the meal began, I spoke separately to three men (names changed) who volunteer their time at the Stone Soup Cafe.
I met Sean, a middle-aged, working class, brown-skinned man who told me that Saturdays at Stone Soup offers him peace and community among his life of chaos (his word).
Then I met Harold, a middle-class, white-skinned man who had been a chef in a high-volume restaurant kitchen for 10 years before burning out and leaving the industry that he had originally entered because of his love of cooking. Harold told me that here, at Stone Soup, he had been able to once again enter the kitchen he had avoided for so long after burning out.
Three men, three stories of healing particular to that man's experience and scars. All found in the same place, a place of love, community, acceptance, and delicious food.
Could a cafe like Stone Soup be a quiet, slow, and unstoppably powerful forging of a new American community for the 21st century?
This poster (from the Haley House Cafe bathroom)
got me thinking...could there a place for something like the Stone Soup Cafe in Cambridge?